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The Challenge: USA Episode 1 ratings eclipse Spies, Lies & Allies premiere numbers

the challenge usa host tj lavin in episode 1
TJ Lavin appears as host for CBS’ The Challenge: USA. Pic credit: Paramount+

Based on The Challenge: USA ratings, CBS may have a hit on its hands with its new spinoff series. The premiere episode of the show, based on MTV’s popular competition series, The Challenge, surpassed the most recent MTV season’s premiere.

The show followed the premiere of CBS’ popular competition show, Big Brother, which aired the first episode for Season 24.

However, it will now be interesting to see if the numbers will stay high consistently with The Challenge: USA as the time slot shifts and the season continues.

What were The Challenge: USA ratings for Episode 1?

When it came to network ratings and viewers, CBS owned the 8 p.m. Eastern Time and 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time slots this past Wednesday, July 6, thanks to premiere episodes for two competition shows. Both shows aired 90-minute premiere episodes.

According to TV Series Finale, Nielsen showed 3.7 million viewers for the Big Brother 24 premiere at 8 p.m. ET. The Challenge: USA, which premiered on CBS at the 9:30 p.m. ET slot, had 2.3 million viewers.

The new Challenge spinoff premiere finished ahead of re-run episodes of ABC’s Home Economics and CW’s Wellington Paranormal. It also picked up a 0.4 rating to lead the 18-49 demographic for the time slot.

Compared to MTV’s season premiere for The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies last August, the new CBS spinoff had more than three times the viewers for its premiere episode.

The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies, Episode 1 had just 660,000 viewers watching, with a 0.38 rating in the 18-49 demographic, per Showbuzz Daily.

CBS spinoff to face challenges keeping high numbers

While the premiere episode seemed to be a hit with viewers, it may have been based on the show following the Big Brother 24 premiere. The Challenge: USA format features CBS reality TV stars from Love Island, Amazing Race, Survivor, and Big Brother competing in a version of MTV’s show hosted by TJ Lavin.

The spinoff’s cast included multiple cast members from Big Brother 23, including members from The Cookout alliance Kyland Young, Azah Awasum, Tiffany Mitchell, and season winner Xavier Prather. Additionally, Season 23’s Alyssa Lopez and Derek Xiao were featured, along with former BB stars Angela Rummans and David Alexander.

The test for The Challenge: USA ratings to continue will be an upcoming change to its time slot. The show shifts to the 9 p.m. Eastern Time slot beginning on Wednesday, July 13, and will be just an hour long.

That puts it head-to-head with several popular shows. They include ABC’s Abbott Elementary, FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance?, and NBC’s hit drama show, Chicago Fire, which has been airing re-runs. NBC’s popular show returns with new episodes in September.

CW is airing back-to-back new episodes of Wellington Paranormal in the time slot, but it hasn’t appeared to be wildly successful.

Many critics pointed out that MTV’s 37th season of The Challenge was struggling in the ratings, but so far, The Challenge: USA looks on pace for a better run. Time will tell if those numbers remain high as new episodes arrive and if viewers stay invested.

The Challenge: USA airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on CBS. The Challenge Season 38 is TBA for MTV.

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