Wednesday, July 12, 2023

The Breakdown: CBS Wednesday in 2022-23 (Survivor, The Amazing Race, True Lies and more!)

It's time for a journey through the CBS Wednesday schedule in 2022-23...


2021-22SurvivorTough As NailsCSI: Vegas116
2022-23SurvivorThe Amazing Race114 (-2%)
169 (-10%)92 (+14%)80 (+3%)


Survivor returned to lead off Wednesday, but it was not able to keep up with the torrid pace set by the first post-COVID season in fall 2021. The Amazing Race also returned with one of its weaker recent seasons. It qualified as the most frequent occupant in both of the last two hours, because the initial 9/8c occupant The Real Love Boat was pulled after four weeks.


2021-22Celebrity Big BrotherThe Amazing RaceGood Sam100
2022-23The Price Is Right At NightLingoTough As Nails94 (-6%)
131 (+2%)88 (-26%)65 (+18%)


The Price Is Right specials kept the network quite strong in the 8/7c hour during the winter, while new game show Lingo actually had similar numbers to The Amazing Race from the fall (but way behind the year-ago winter TAR). At 10/9c, Tough As Nails improved on the year-ago flop drama Good Sam.


2021-22SurvivorBeyond the EdgeGood Sam91
2022-23SurvivorFBI (R)True Lies92 (+1%)
167 (+2%)56 (-15%)52 (+20%)


Survivor returned with a stronger season in the spring, nearly tying the fall numbers and inching past the year-ago spring season. The network had a new drama True Lies, but declined to give it the direct Survivor lead-in even though they had literally nothing else on the night. So True Lies aired mostly after FBI repeats, and was stronger than the second half of Good Sam's season but still too low for a renewal.

Rating the Ratings

Survivor Fall*0.60.720.8-24%169big hit-10%detail
Survivor Spring*0.70.700.8-16%165big hit+1%detail
The Amazing Race Fall*0.30.370.5-39%86marginal-27%detail
The Real Love Boat0.20.240.3
Tough As Nails0.20.280.3-33%65flop-20%detail
True Lies0.20.230.3

Survivor Fall: At least by the standards of post-COVID Survivor, which has been one of the very strongest shows in primetime, this was probably the closest thing to an underwhelming season the show has had. However, beating the first post-COVID season was always gonna be a huge ask, and it still stood pretty tall above the pre-COVID seasons. Grade: B-.

Survivor Spring: It felt like the spring season did better than the fall, nearly matching its average, but that's actually been the case for fall/spring seasons throughout much of Survivor's history. I was close to giving this a B but when the show is at such a historically strong level, even going +1% is a good thing. Grade: B+.

The Amazing Race Fall: Getting stuck after The Real Love Boat was rough, but it didn't improve that much in the move back to 9/8c and was stuck below the league average. Not a big red flag for the show historically (it was comparable to the spring 2019 season, for example) but I don't think there's much question that it was a sizable step down from last winter. Grade: C.

The Real Love Boat: It takes a lot to get pulled after four episodes in this day and age, but The Real Love Boat did it. Grade: F.

Lingo: Nothing special, but stacked up against other recent unscripted Wednesday newbies like Beyond the Edge and The Real Love Boat, it was quite an improvement. It was actually looking rather solid in its first month but fell off quite a bit in the second half, including in the last two episodes after Survivor. Grade: C+.

Tough As Nails: Big drop, but it moved from 9/8c after Survivor to 10/9c after Lingo. And it was only about 10% behind the winter/spring 2021 run when it aired at 8/7c, so it seems like the show has been pretty steady-ish over time. Grade: C+.

True Lies: Looking at CBS' recent 10/9c failures, I don't think it was quite as weak as last year's Good Sam (which got a D-), but probably a touch weaker than spring 2020's Tommy (which got a D+). So the right grade seems like Grade: D.

The names in this last table link to the shows' War of 18-49 pages. Links with an asterisk(*) have been updated with the new info. Updates to younger shows will come later in the summer.

Previous Breakdowns for CBS Wednesday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19 | 2019-20 | 2020-21 | 2021-22

Here's the now updated Schedules Plus for CBS Wednesday.

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