Ratings: "Race" Goes Out on Top
If indeed last night's season finale of CBS's "The Amazing Race" was the final pit stop ever, the globe-trotting reality franchise went out on a high note. While the ratings were slightly below the premiere numbers on May 29, the series still managed an impressive showing.
As has been the case throughout its run, "Race" was unable to top its main time-slot rival, NBC's "Friends", scoring a 5.5 / 10 (rating / share) compared to "Friends" 6.5 / 12; "Race" raced past "Scrubs" and Fox's Pre-Season Football to finish off with a 6.7 / 12. ("Scrubs" which scored a 5.8 / 10 actually finished in third behind football.) The 8:30 rating is the highest of the season, while the 8:00 rating is second highest only to the premiere. The highest rated half-hour remains the third half-hour of the 90 minute premiere.
Among the more-important 18-49 year old demographic, "Race" was again impressive. "Race" netted a 3.1 and a 4.1 at 8:00 and 8:30 respectively. While still losing to "Friends" (4.1), "Race" easily finished ahead of second place "Scrubs" (3.8) at 8:30. The 8:00 rating ties the highest average of the season - for the third time (including the premiere). That 4.1 rating was "Race's" highest rating at the 8:30 half-hour and only .1 behind the highest rating of 4.2 posted by the premiere at the 9:00 half-hour.
(Note: these ratings do not include last week's black-out effected episode, which was not seen by roughly 15% of the country and Nielsen did not release any official numbers for last Thursday night)
Despite this good news, CBS is still unsure of whether to renew the series for a fifth go-around. Personally, I couldn't think of a better incentive to watch CBS during the dog days of Summer '04 than with "The Amazing Race 5" (that and "Big Brother 5").