Amazing Race has its lowest-rated finale ever

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.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.

A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.