From TVGuide Online's Biz Column
Change of Pace
Is The Amazing Race headed for a detour?
If you were looking forward to watching the next season of The Amazing Race on Saturday nights this fall, start making other plans.
The next installment of the CBS reality show was supposed to air on TV's loneliest night of the week starting in late September. But as you know, hits are hard to come by, and if you have one, you don't put it on Saturday night, when young viewers are least available.
Ratings for the last few weeks of the current Amazing Race have been near the top of Nielsen's rankings for viewers 18 to 49. If it were the regular TV season, Race would be CBS's sixth most popular show in that demographic, which is favored most by advertisers.
That's why CBS is choosing to "rest" the show for about a month or so after it wraps up its current run in a two-hour finale on Tuesday. When The Amazing Race does come back, look for it to show up in a more high-profile time period.
CBS touts itself as the most popular network among viewers in all age groups, but being able to challenge NBC and Fox for leadership in the 18-to-49 category would help the network extract millions of dollars more in ad rates from Madison Avenue.
The Amazing Race can help CBS do that.
Where could it go? Tuesday is the most likely night, where CBS's baseball-themed drama Clubhouse is the longest of long shots at 9 pm/ET. Since NBC's Father of the Pride will apparently be sticking around for a while, Race would have no reality competition in the hour.
Or if one of CBS's new comedies doesn't work out, The King of Queens can return to Mondays, and Race could move into the Wednesday 9 pm slot, against ABC's The Bachelor, which is starting to fade.
Then there's Friday, where the new 10 pm drama dr. vegas is expected to be a tough sell.
Needless to say, CBS will have some options. Failure is inevitable when a new fall season rolls out. But rarely does a network have a weapon as potent as The Amazing Race to pull out when it happens.