Survivor Samoa debut is the series’ lowest-rated ever, but it still wins its timeslot

Despite relentless promotion featuring Russell H.’s villainy, Survivor Samoa had the franchise’s lowest-rated debut ever on Thursday night, although it continued its streak of winning its timeslot.

With 11.5 million viewers, the episode lost a significant number of viewers from recent debuts: just over two million fewer viewers from Tocantins (13.63 million) and 1.5 million from Gabon a year ago (13 million). The Hollywood Reporter calls this “a significant ratings hit” and says the episode “was down 22% from last fall for its lowest-rated opening night ever, actually tying its second worst performance to date excluding specials.

Still, all of that was enough to win: CBS said in a press release that “won its time period in viewers, adults 18-49, adults 18-34 and adults 25-54 as CBS placed first in viewers during every half hour.” A Saturday night repeat drew 2.23 million viewers, according to TV By the Numbers.

ABC, Saturday Night College Football, Texas Notch Wins [TV By the Numbers]
‘Community’ opens strong; ‘Survivor’ takes a hit [Hollywood Reporter]
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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, 37, 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.