Why Doesn’t The Challenge Ever Rerun?

If you tune into MTV at any random hour, you’re likely to see Ridiculousness airing. MTV replays that show all day, every day.

Recently, reality blurred touched on this topic. In their analysis of MTV’s schedule, they determined MTV has 168 hours in a week and 88.5 went to airing Ridiculousness. By contrast, 1.5 hours went to The Challenge. The rest of the week went to reruns of Catfish, Jersey Shore, and a couple hours of new programming. I know this schedule will change each week, but I feel reality blurred’s analysis was pretty reflective of reality. Saying Ridiculousness takes up half of MTV’s schedule seems like an understatement.

To be honest, the biggest surprise isn’t the single airing of The Challenge. I’m shocked to see Teen Mom has been reduced to a single airing each week.

The Challenge has been the most successful show on MTV since Total Madness began airing, so doesn’t it seem logical to rerun the show?

Johnny Bananas Ridiculousness

In all fairness, The Challenge competes with other competition reality shows like Survivor and Big Brother. You wouldn’t know this, because MTV decided to overlap the airing of Total Madness with Survivor, but they are competing. These shows only air once, so MTV might be taking notes from CBS.

The most obvious goal would be stacking ratings for the first airing. If this is MTV’s intent, it’s hard to say they’re failing. The most recent episode of Total Madness was the highest rated cable show of the evening.

Viewing MTV is also different than it was in 2006. If you missed and episode of The Duel, you might have to wait for MTV to rerun the episode to get caught up. Fortunately, you could depend on MTV to air the two most recent episode prior to the release to the new episode. Now, almost everyone has DVR. If you don’t your can go on and stream the episode there. We’re at a point where rerunning episodes of the current The Challenge on MTV isn’t necessary. On-demand services make it easy to get caught up whenever you want.

MTV’s core viewer will be watching Total Madness during its original rerun. Meanwhile, there’s no need to watch a new episode of Ridiculousness during its original run. On Wednesday April 29, 2020, Total Madness was the top cable show with 1,001,000 viewers and a 0.57 rating in the 18-49 demographic. Meanwhile, the new episode of Ridiculousness was the 83rd highest rated cable show of the evening with 274,000 viewers and a 0.10 rating in the same demo.

Ridiculousness is designed to fill space. Not just on the MTV schedule, but also in waiting rooms and bars. People flip through channels and stop on Ridiculousness when nothing else is on. The content on Ridiculousness comes from the internet, the show is dirt cheap to make, and reruns probably make decent money compared to the cost of making them.

Challenge fans aren’t requesting reruns of Total Madness, they want to dig into the Challenge archive. Even rerunning War of the Worlds 1 and 2 during quarantine would appease fans. MTV is losing the opportunity to renew interest in the show and keep fans on the network. They’re currently doing it with Jersey Shore, they clearly understand there’s some value in rerunning shows.

Right now, MTV, MTV2, and MTV Classics are virtual voids filled with dull reruns. Nobody wants to watch Ridiculousness, people just want to put on a show requiring no attention span. MTV has a back catalogue of shows they could air, but instead they replay a show that’s been aired for thousands of hours in 2020. To make matters worse, Ridiculousness caters a different demographic than other shows on MTV. Most of the show on MTV are reality shows while Ridiculousness is a relic of MTV’s attempt at comedy. This means MTV is barely even promoting their new shows to Ridiculousness’s audience.

Given their on-demand services, the lack of Total Madness reruns are forgiven. People really want to see the back catalogue of The Challenge. This isn’t a lot to ask, as MTV has over 150 hours dedicated to reruns each week.

Will this change anything? Probably not. Was writing this post a better use of my time than watching Ridiculousness? Yes.


  1. They should do weekend Challenge marathons of past seasons and attract new viewers, especially now that we don’t have much for live sports action.

  2. I would loveeeee for them to play old episodes! I instead have to look for them on some shady websites and hope they are all uploaded by someone else!

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