‘Survivor’ Sees 4th Consecutive Week in Ratings Increase

Survivor 42 episode 4

YouTube "Survivor 42" contestants assemble for the immunity challenge in episode 4.

The current season of “Survivor” is seeing an increase in ratings episode-by-episode. Given how “Survivor” is a network television show which has dealt with declining ratings in recent years/seasons, this is a good sign for fans of the hit reality show. Here’s the rundown on what the show’s recent viewership numbers mean:

‘Survivor 42’ Premiere Had Record Low Ratings, but Is Seeing Steady Increase in Subsequent Episodes

According to Deadline, “Survivor 42” episode 4, which aired last Wednesday, won that night’s primetime viewing slot, in both demo rating and audience.

Wednesday’s episode raked in 5.42 million viewers, increasing from 5.35 million viewers the previous week. This episode also saw an increase in the 18-49 demo rating, with 0.9 this week versus 0.84 last week (meaning that .9% and .84%, respectively, of the U.S. population in that demographic tuned in), according to MediaTraffic. Per TVLine, “Survivor” led Wednesday in ratings across the board.

Unfortunately, the season premiere saw a substantial drop from previous seasons, and in fact was a record low for the series. On March 9, a measly 4.9 million viewers tuned in, as opposed to around 6 million for the premiere of “41” and nearly 7 million for the premiere of season 40, back in February 2020. However, season 40 was a legendary all-winners season, and widely hyped even before its announcement, and season 41 was launched after a year-and-a-half long “Survivor” drought due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, a surge in ratings is only natural after so many fans have been waiting for so long.

In addition, as some fans have noticed, season 42 was not widely publicized before its premiere in March – certainly not as widely publicized as the previous few seasons. This likely resulted in some fans not hearing about its premiere date and as a result missing its airing.


Why ‘Survivor 42’ Ratings Likely Don’t Spell Doom for the Show

Although the “Survivor 42” premiere reached record low ratings, the show already saw an uptick in viewership by episode 2, which aired March 16. That episode landed over 5 million, followed by 5.35 million for episode 3. As a result, the latest ratings indicate an increase in viewership for four weeks in a row, which is a rather unusual occurrence for a series of episodes this early in the season. However, it is likely the lack of publicity near the beginning of the season which explains this.

The “Survivor 41” finale scored about 5.62 million viewers. Though it was not the season’s most popular episode (that honor goes to the premiere, followed by episode 2 at 5.9 million), if this season’s finale can rake in the same numbers, that would be a good sign for the show.

For reference, the lowest-rated episode of “Survivor 41” was episode 6, which scored about 5.3 million. In addition, season 39, “Island of the Idols,” raked in about 6.29 million viewers for its premiere back in September 2019. Its finale scored about 6.5 million.

It is true that “Survivor” has seen a ratings downturn in recent seasons, though this is normal for all network television shows, given the shifting landscape for TV. In addition, CBS has now put “Survivor” on Paramount+, and Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are now hosting a number of the show’s most popular seasons/episodes. So even if not as many people are watching it live, it may still garner substantial viewership through online streaming platforms.

“Survivor” is likely to spawn many more seasons, and host Jeff Probst has even expressed confidence that it will reach at least season 50.

Thirteen contestants remain in the current season of “Survivor.” Be sure to catch future episodes of “Survivor 42” by tuning in to CBS Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. Eastern.

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