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James Hibberd

'Survivor: China' Lowest Premiere in Series History

September 21, 2007 9:35 AM

Thursday night’s premiere of “Survivor: China” was the lowest-rated debut in the reality show’s history, declining a steep 25 percent from last fall’s “Cook Islands,” and down 14 percent from last spring’s “Fiji” edition.

The 15th edition of the show earned a 4.9 preliminary rating among adults 18 to 49 and was easily the highest-rated program of the night.

The curious thing about this: CBS would have been ecstatic to earn a 4.9 for Wednesday’s debut of “Kid Nation” — the network’s other challenge-filled 8 p.m. reality show premiering this week. Yet for the veteran “Survivor” series, this number is a disappointment. Success and failure are not about the ratings, they’re about the expectations.

CBS won the night with “Survivor” and repeats.

Fox was second, establishing their fall Thursday night reality block of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” (2.3) and “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” (2.9).

NBC was third, ABC fourth and The CW fifth with repeats.


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Comments (7)

You have to wonder if this is all part of the China backlash, dontcha?

This just might be a case of really really bad timing for CBS.

It's a shame because China is a fascinating place. Of course, there are many trade and environmental issues to be addressed.


I sincerely doubt that would make any impact on the ratings. People watch the show for the game of Survivor; the location is just the backdrop. Survivor's ratings have been going down every season these past years because it's just aging.


I was really looking forward to the new show in this really different location!!! What a disappointment---it was as if you chose the majority of the players from the stupid pile, and, sure enough, one of the two hardest workers was voted off already--I would really appreciate watching some people with real thinking skills---you are going to be losing viewers by the thousands when giving them so little to watch and cheer for-as far as I am concerned there is only one left that answers that quest- James!!!


The reason for disappointing ratings is not a reflection of the quality of the show. The show is the same and still good. It is because the reality show pie has many more offerings, and over time, there is more saiety and less desparate hunger for the latest edition of Survivor.


I think you have to remember that TV ratings all across the map are down for almost every TV show. Survivor's not going to pull in 20+ million viewers it used to, and the same holds true for nearly every other show that's been big in the past. And another thing this article fails to mention is that the ratings are UP from last season's finale, by nearly 2 million people, so I don't think Survivor's 'lowest rated season ever' is a sign that the show is slowing down.

Jay J:

The last few Survivor series have pitted lop-sided teams against one another, resulting in predictable circumstances.

So much so that you could easily determine the outcome of who would make it to the end even before the usual merger of teams takes place.

The shows directors need to take more control in deciding which contestants will be on each team in order to make sure that they are fair and balanced.

Unfortunately it looks like more of the same this year, which is probably why they have lost so many viewers


I think they put to much twist to it and the way they put 18 cast mates then 20! I mean come on thats to many you can't remember them all thats why its better if they kept it at 16 I really like this season tho because it brings back how survivor used to be and I miss that. I hate all the past ones after Vanuatu the other good one was Guatemala the rest all sucked and I wish it didn't because I was survivor crazy Its sad how you wanna don't wanna see survivor go but don't want it to go threw another bad season

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