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The Great American Road Trip: Premiere Ratings Stall; Cancel It or Keep It?

The Great American Road TripNBC is hitting the road with another new reality series, The Great American Road Trip. Is the show worth watching or, has the competition run out of gas before it barely got started?

The Great American Road Trip follows seven American families in a countrywide competition. Each in their own RVs, the clans travel to various landmarks and compete in challenges. The winning family gets a prize whereas the three worst performers must take part in a second challenge. The losing group of the second contest is eliminated.

Hosted by Reno Coiller, the series premiered on Tuesday night and the families visited Springfield, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri. Unfortunately not many viewers from those cities, or anywhere else, were watching.

NBC paired the debut of Road Trip with the very popular America’s Got Talent in hopes that most of Talent’s audience would tune in an hour early to watch the new show. It didn’t happen. Road Trip attracted just 4.66 million viewers and a 1.3/5 rating/share of the 18-49 demographic.

Should Road Trip be cancelled?

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Road Trip was handily beaten by a repeat of NCIS (10.43 million and a 1.9/7) and barely scored better than ABC’s disappointing Superstars (4.2 million and a 1.3/5). One week earlier, a repeat of NBC’s Talent attracted 8.2 million and a 2.3/8 in the same timeslot (per the ratings overnights).

The peacock network isn’t pleased with Road Trip’s performance and immediately sent it packing to a new night. The reality series will now air on Monday nights at 10pm, taking the place of Law & Order reruns. Not surprisingly, NBC is plugging the Tuesday night timeslot with encores of America’s Got Talent.

Seven more episodes of Road Trip have already been produced. Given that it’s Summer and ratings expectations are lower, it seems very likely that NBC will air the entire season.

The network is so desperate for content that they’ve already scheduled Road Trip reruns to air on Sunday nights at 7pm. Given the early numbers, that may change.

However, unless viewership picks up, there would be very little reason for NBC to renew it for a second season.

What do you think? Is the competition worth watching or just slightly less painful than driving with squabbling kids in the backseat? Should the network keep Road Trip or just cancel it already?

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

AL&RUTH WRGHT June 13, 2010 at 6:37 pm



gary May 4, 2010 at 6:28 pm

I LOVED the show. Keep it on. My entire family watched this show and we’ve never had a TV show that we all agreed on.


Joe February 16, 2010 at 8:21 am

My family and I enjoyed this show. My mother and sister also watched. My wife and kids have even discussed going on this show, it would be a blast


Beverly September 15, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Great show. Husband and I both loved it, looked forward to watching it. Please bring it back at prime time


Karen August 31, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Wonderful, wonderful, & wonderful. The time I spent watching this show was well worth it. I got to enjoy not only the show, the cast of families and yes even my family joined me. At first my daughter 22 who is not so keen on watching reality shows and likes to channel surf gave in to me and then actually started to enjoy it as much as I did. Please renew this show and you can add my family to the growing list that wants to get behind the wheel and see America. Maybe you can run a season of parents with older kids (18 and over) that could really bring in the college crowd. Example (my family 3 large colleges, 2 different states, & 2 that played sports in college, needless to say the competition would be the hype to generate college viewers


Andrea August 26, 2009 at 4:41 pm

My husband didn’t want to watch the show with me and our three children, but he ended up tuning in also! I am a Southerner and he is a New Yorker, so we were split with who we were pulling for. In the end, the Pollard family truly showed the most sportsmanship and care for others. The Cootes were completely RUDE! We were very happy the DiSalvatores won. I think their youngest son had a life-changing moment when he overcame his fears on the zip line challenge. I hope they renew the show. As a matter of fact, we would love to be on it!


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