Despite the episode’s drama and weirdness, Survivor One World‘s premiere episode last night earned the lowest ratings of any season of the show ever.
About 10.7 million people watched, fewer than Survivor Redemption Island 11.2 million last spring. It also had 6 percent fewer viewers ages 18 to 49. American Idol easily trounced it. The Hollywood Reporter notes that “many series hit season lows on Wednesday night,” as shows have been doing all week.
For a moment, I feared that this was because there weren’t any returning cast member, meaning next season would probably be Survivor Hantz Attack. But bringing back cast members has actually not helped the show rise compared to the previous fall or spring. Survivor South Pacific last fall was down from the returnee-less Nicaragua’s debut, and last spring, Redemption Island was down from Heroes vs. Villains the previous spring, although that full all-star season had the highest number of viewers for its debut of any of the past six seasons, probably because it was loaded with returnees.