The Challenge: World Championship is about a week away, and it appears the UK installment of the series was given a rush release at an odd hour. And guess what: It tanked!
The first episode premiered to 39,000 viewers (presumably live). Compared to Channel 5’s top shows from the week prior, it wouldn’t even crack the top 50.
A lot went wrong with this show. There was very little promotion, and it was given an 11 p.m. time slot. And there were only five episodes and they were aired on four consecutive nights (the final episode was aired at 12 a.m., following episode 4).
Of course, the show is on Paramount+, both internationally and in the US. Plus, people may have recorded the show and they could access it on the time shift channel. So, 39,000 doesn’t encompass all viewers — but it’s clear interest is low.
So, what happened here? It’s similar to the Australian series.
UK audiences are accustomed to trashy, dramatic TV. But, The Challenge has become more competition-focused and less drama-focused. With 16 people on the cast, how many story lines can you really fit into five episodes?
Plus, the cast didn’t want to be there. Queen Elizabeth II died while filming was underway, and people wanted to quit due to her death.
So, is there any hope for a second season? Probably not, but if it does happen, it’ll be on Parmount+ only. Just like Australia, reality TV is very popular in the UK. This type of show should be able to work, but it can’t be edited like the US series. Production needs to tailer the shows to their countries or origin, and this could spell bad news for the World Championship if its edited like The Challenge USA, UK, and Australia.