Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies Ratings

Challenge Ratings Hit an All Time Low: Is the Show in Trouble?

Ratings are down. Is The Challenge coming to an end?

Episode 3 of Spies, Lies & Allies was viewed by 506,000 people. This makes it the Challenge episode with the fewest live viewers during its premier. The previous low was set by Battle of the Bloodlines Episode 1, an episode that aired nearly six years ago. Since then, MTV and television viewership has changed a lot.

On Twitter, Gamer compiled a list of the Challenge episodes with the lowest numbers of viewers:

Two of the three episodes of Spies, Lies & Allies are among the least viewed episodes of the series. While Bloodlines had a slow start, it would climb in ratings as the season progressed. Episode 9 would be viewed by 932,000 people. This increase was sparked by CT’s appearance on the show and his subsequent appearance with Zach.

While Spies, Lies & Allies is dropping in the numbers, the need to panic has not yet occurred. When Bloodlines episode 1 aired, it was the 88th highest rated cable show on its debut night. By contrast, Spies, Lies & Allies episode 3 is the fifth highest cable show of the night. Both episodes had a 0.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic. So a major factor of the decline in viewers is a lack of interest in cable television. Viewership was declining in 2015, and there’s very little worth watching in 2021.

As of right now, Spies, Lies & Allies is MTV’s highest rated show. Jersey Shore: Family Vacation was viewed by 502,000 on Thursday night with a 0.26 rating in the 18-49 demographic. It was the eleventh highest rated show of the evening. By MTV standards, The Challenge is still doing quite well.

While it’s fair to blame a large portion of the decline in viewership on changes in television consumption, we can’t ignore the obvious. Double Agents did much better, so why are numbers slipping now? This is where we need to focus on content. It’s no coincidence Bloodlines and Spies, Lies & Allies are two of the seasons with low numbers in the beginning. Viewers want to see their favorite competitors: this is what makes The Challenge unique. When we get big groups of rookies, people become disinterested. There’s little evolution with new competitors and newbies are disposable.

While ratings may not be as alarming as some people believe, they’re also a warning sign. Production needs to think of the reasons people are disinterested, and work to build better themes and casts. Fans are getting tired of the boring spy themes and theatric missions. We want to see fan favorite and allow rookies to develop over time. Something isn’t working, and MTV as a whole is feeling the effects. If they don’t change, The Challenge won’t be the casualty: it will be MTV as a whole.


  1. Lets face it, the show is pretty horrible, and each season is more of a bore than the one before. So many newbies no one ever heard of, Vets are now boring barely newbies like Big T and the girl who won last season but just came back as a replacement this season. How forgettable is she, that she won last season and I can’t even remember her name? Where is Laurel, Cara, Emily, etc.? Everything seems manufactured, all the story lines seem prepared and guided. The whole agents, agency, pretending like they are some kind of modern day spies like James and Jamie Bond, it’s just silly! Why do I still watch! Well, actually I don’t really, it records on my DVR and I fast forward or put the episodes on in the background and pay minimal attention. Not very fun or funny these days, maybe it’s time…

  2. Quit bitchin’. EVERY show is diluted by the new streaming services. The negative posts by fans sitting on their ass on their couches is getting old

    1. This post isn’t just bitching. It’s supported by number. In fact, there are some positives in the post. And “fans sitting on their ass on their couches” are the people supporting this show. It’s not the insult you think it is.

  3. Thanks Michael B, there is a reason the numbers keep going down, just offering my own constructive criticism of the show. It still records, I still put in on hoping it will be good, but it still keeps getting further and further away from what it used to be. I miss the old seasons and formats. Now it all seems so forced, generic, and even silly with all this seceret agent nonsense. When long time fans like me stop watching and stop DVRing the episodes the numbers will just decline even further, and like The Real World and Road Rules before it, they will have to put the show out of its misery.

  4. I have been watching the show for more than 12 years now and while there were lows in between around the time of Bloodlines etc, I thought Double Agents was great, and SLA isn’t too bad either. The concept of bringing back the teams but with the twist of being able to swap partners is interesting. Also the difficulty and creativity of the challenges has improved in the past few series. Although I fully agree that it is way too many newbies in SLA.

  5. Even though the us ratings have dropped I think the show is safe. Not only are more people streaming but it’s now being shown in 190 countries.

    1. International airing haven’t done too well. But, they are casting from more countries. This may bring more interest. ButSpies, Lies, and Allies isn’t streaming anywhere yet.

  6. I’m also tired of the spy & war of the worlds themes…It would be nice if they tried a new format or even if they look back & recycled an old format that we haven’t seen in a while like The Gauntlet, The Duel, Good Guys vs. Bad Asses, or even another Rivals (though nothing will ever touch Rivals 1). Bring back more vets and players from past seasons who only got one shot. Get rid of Josh.

  7. I always laugh when people say “Bring back Johnny/Emily/Laurel/ect” because like they have their own lives??? And they’re the ones choosing to not come back for their own understandable reasons. Production needs to keep the interesting rookies for people to grow accustomed to rather then get rid of them immediately for more new people.

    1. I agree mostly. The biggest problem is having 10 rookies on Double Agents, and 8 of them aren’t used again. Now we have 19 rookies. Realistically, how many will get a second chance? 5? Character development used to be a big part of The Challenge. Now it’s a revolving door.

  8. All the New Rookies all the time and the drama. People like Nany who always has to have someone to lean on to get her through or Kyle with all the Drama. Fans Love CT thats why the ratings are higher when he is there! People like the OGs like CT, Bananas, Wes, Aneesa, Cara Maria. Over the new rookies.

  9. All the New Rookies all the time and the drama. People like Nany who always has to have someone to lean on to get her through or Kyle with all the Drama. Fans Love CT thats why the ratings are higher when he is there! People like the OGs like CT, Bananas, Wes, Aneesa, Cara Maria. Over the new rookies.

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