CBS’s three-hour, all-reality-TV block on Wednesday nights has lasted just four weeks.
While that’s disappointing to The Real Love Boat’s fans—and if you are one, please let me know because I’d love to meet you—it comes with great, welcome, at-long-last news.
The Amazing Race season 34 is moving to 9 p.m. ET after Survivor 43!
Yes, CBS’s two iconic, high-quality reality shows (sorry, Big Brother, but you know you’re trash) will now air back-to-back for the first time in history.
Somehow, over two decades, they’ve never before been regularly scheduled on the same night for a full season. (In 2019, Amazing Race 31 did start at the end of Survivor’s season, so they had a few weeks together.)
But now Jeff Probst and Phil Keoghan—who both applied to be host of Survivor—are now hosting great competition reality TV together for the rest of their 34th and 43rd seasons.
While people clearly watch TV differently than they used to, putting The Amazing Race so late at 10 p.m. undoubtedly hurt its same-day ratings. And 9 p.m. ET/PT may still late for some people and/or kids, but I think it’s much more likely to keep Survivor’s viewers tuned in to CBS, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Amazing Race’s ratings rebound next week.
The Real Love Boat sank fast
The Real Love Boat was kicked to the streaming curb so fast CBS doesn’t even have a clear idea of what it’s being replaced with yet, but it will be repeats of CBS dramas, which are much more reliable ratings performers.
CBS announced this quietly, in a programming advisory:
THE REAL LOVE BOAT has moved exclusively to Paramount+ beginning Wednesday, Nov. 2. THE AMAZING RACE will move to the Wednesday 9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT timeslot and CBS Drama encore episodes will follow, airing at 10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT. SURVIVOR will remain at 8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT.
Wednesdays, beginning Nov. 2
8:00-9:00 PM SURVIVOR
9:00-10:00 PM THE AMAZING RACE
10:00-11:00 PM CBS DRAMA ENCORE EPISODES
The real reason for the change: it was CBS’s lowest-rated show on its fall schedule, and likely hurt Amazing Race ratings, which leaves fewer people to see local news promos and stay tuned to see how their local affiliate can terrify them that night.
The Real Love Boat’s 18-49 ratings were pretty steady the first three weeks, but dropped 27 percent on Wednesday, and its viewers dropped from 2.4 million for the premiere to 1.7 million this week.
The show was basically CBS’s response to losing Love Island to Peacock, had the challenging task of attracting young fans of Love Island by using its format while steeped in nostalgia for a 1970s and 1980s comedy, The Love Boat, and selling a cruise line, too.
But starting with the super-stilted cold open followed by hosts Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn singing a modified version of the theme song, it was clear it just wouldn’t work.
It did last longer than I thought it would—a full month! That’s quite a lengthy cruise ship advertisement/reminder that just ripping off other format is not really as easy as it might seem.
Correction: This story briefly mentioned that Amazing Race and Survivor had never aired on the same night, which is not accurate; instead, they have never been regularly scheduled for full seasons. The story has been updated to reflect that.