The Amazing Race‘s two-hour finale was the lowest-rated final episode in its 18 seasons, though it did do well against its competition, which may be all that matters.
CBS said in a press release that the show “was first in viewers (8.91m), adults 25-54 (3.3/08) and tied for first in adults 18-49 (2.5/07, with both ABC and FOX).” However, as TV By the Numbers notes, it was “down 4% from last week to its lowest rating finale ever.”
More interesting to me is what Nielsen data compiled by TV By the Numbers shows: the episode actually lost viewers over time. It started with 9.162 million at 8 p.m., dropped to 8.855 at 8:30, dropped another half-million in the 9 p.m. half-hour to 8.393 million, and rebounded in the final half-hour to 9.241 million viewers who tuned in just to see who won.
While some jump can be expected during a reality series’ final moments, it seems like people were too bored to watch the entire two-hour episode. I’d hope that–and the lowest-ever ratings–prompt the producers and CBS to shake things up and try something new for the 19th season. Or they can just keep slipping away from the high standards that brought the show to our attention in the first place.