Survivor Cook Islands finale wins the night, but the series continues to lose viewers

The finale of Survivor Cook Islands, the best season in a long time, was watched by 16.4 million viewers, making it the highest-rated show on Sunday night.

By comparison, however, Survivor Guatemala‘s finale last fall was watched by 21.3 million viewers. And last spring’s lowest-rated finale to date for Survivor Panama was watched by an average of 17 million people.

Along those lines, among 18- to 49-year-old viewers, this “fall’s finale was down 8% from last spring’s ‘Survivor: Panama’ finale in the adults 18-49 demo and down 26% from last fall’s ‘Survivor: Guatemala’ finale,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. Variety identifies the drops as “a roughly 23% decline from the 7.7 for the ‘Survivor: Guatemala’ finale in December 2005, and a roughly 5% falloff from the ‘Survivor: Panama’ conclusion last May.” Interestingly, the hour-long “reunion was up 11% from last spring’s reunion show but down 11% from the Guatemala reunion,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

As a result of these “sagging ratings,” as Media Life calls them, “media researchers say two changes CBS ought to consider are moving it off Thursday nights and airing just one cycle per year, cutting back from two.” Still, the show “is still doing well” and is just facing “stiffer competition” on the other networks.

‘Survivor’ puts CBS on top Sunday [The Hollywood Reporter]
‘Survivor’ a winner for CBS [Variety]
What CBS must do to revive ‘Survivor’ [Media Life Magazine]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.