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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 }

pamela August 25, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Great family show! I watched it from start to finish. I was extremely happy the Di Salvatories won! The mom and dad were hilarious! In the beginning I thought dad was full of himself and mom was a screamer. Then I found myself watching the show because of the comedy they brought to it. Loved it. Hope to see more.

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vgirl57 August 25, 2009 at 12:14 pm

I disagree that the Cootes showed poor sportsmanship. I think the mother of the Disalvatore family had the worst personality and does not set a good example for her children as far as sportsmanship by stating “we are going to destroy the Cootes”. She is vindictive and I was disappointed that she won. I feel good for the two sons in that family. Hopefully they will at least learn that you can think better when you keep your yap shut by observing their idiot mother.

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Julie Goldsmith August 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm

If sportsman ship and teaching your children values of friendly competition where a percentage of how they were graded on the show the Coutts would have gone home on the first episode. Those families that went home early can hold their heads up high – the Coutts on the other hand might have to go into hiding.

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No Cootes August 24, 2009 at 5:12 pm

What is wrong with the Cootes. Obnoxious, chew spitting father, mother who cannot make a decision without the old man, a daughter who cannot keep her head up and a son who rules the roost! Go DiSalvatores….you rock!

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Kim August 24, 2009 at 10:05 am

Love the show, however, I think the entire Coote family is rude and needs help in showing their children (mainly their son) how to lose and win with dignity. The Pollard family invited everyone to share in their win while in Vegas, which shows how GREAT SOUTHERNS can be. Started off not caring for Silvio but, he has become a likeable fellow. Silvio showed great parenting when he helped and encouraged his younger son with the cable ride challenge. I will be cheering for Silvio and family tonight since the Pollards are out now.

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Jeannette August 18, 2009 at 1:28 am

COOTE KIDS did NOT follow the rules for last night’s challenge to win…didn’t use the phones but shouted out the instructions….BOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Janis August 17, 2009 at 11:18 am

It was a big mistake going to Branson Missouri. I had to go there multiple times in the past few months. There is more than one confederate flag store on “Main Street” I did not see one USA flag store. For “Yankees” and to most everyone else in the world this is like Germany having swastika stores on Main Street. After spending about thirty days total in Branson I only saw one black person. This all came to a head and was reflected in the “Branson townsfolk” reaction to the families’ attempts to entertain them. Their reactions drew the same political and prejudicial lines that have torn this Country in two. Ground Zero. It was sad and uncomfortable to watch these nice families flung into that type of situation. They are still fighting the Civil War there. The show took them into a place that most Americans do not want to go to. It was uncomfortable to watch.

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Cyndy August 10, 2009 at 6:05 pm

I really don’t hope they renew this show. It demonstrated poor sportsmanship to the families that watched it. The show especially on Monday night with the Coote children shouted out of the limosine windows twice When they lost, (the Coote’s) the male child was so outrageously overworked with regard to losing. Even the father had a sour puss. None of the other families show this amount of poor sportsmanship as did the Cootes. I can tell you now, we wont’ be watching any more episodes.

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Preston August 4, 2009 at 5:21 pm

I think that they carefully kept this show to the typical reality show formulas like on the Mark Burnett-produced shows with the eliminations and bottom-three format. But this is more family driven, avoiding the adult content of other reality shows. And families do argue sometimes as one comment complained. You’re going to have that, even with the kids.

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Preston August 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm

They should run it only in the summer if they renew it. I like it at 8 pm on Monday. But keep in mind that this is summer, when most people are on vacation and a small amount of viewers will see it. I LOVED the Grand Canyon show on Monday night! They showed beautiful sections of the canyon, even from the families visting and the helicopter views. I like that this is one of the rare shows to go on the original route of Route 66 in a time when interstate highways are used a lot. Long before Starbucks, gargantuan self service stations and convience stores, big box stores and McDonald’s every 3rd or 4th exit took over. They’ve shown some beautiful sections of the US on this show.

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Preston August 4, 2009 at 5:07 pm

I saw where it ranked 40th, 71st and 59th place in USA Today the first 3 shows. But I’m still watching and DEFENDING this show. It’s really a one-time summer installment, not meant to be a series. It’s a good, fun family show with all of them competing in those fun challenges. Plus, it came out very timely when most families are already on long summer road trips in July and August in either their family cars or RVs. I even have my road atlas while watching the show to see where the families are driving to. And I’ll watch this over the foul, crude, backstabbing language of the dating reality shows that have flooded the networks this summer! Lastly, I’m watching to see if the Pollard family will win over the Coote Family, who have won every single challenge the past 4 shows. I see the tension increasing in future shows.

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bob jurgens August 1, 2009 at 5:09 am

I can’t say that I particularly enjoy the show but I do love the concept. The families seem to appeal to the least common denominator of humankind.

My family has had the opportunity to travel via RV through all 49 of the continental States and a more seriously produced show that takes into account real life experiences would probably appeal to a much wider audience.

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family0f5 July 28, 2009 at 10:10 am

my family loves the show and like everyone else we want to be on the show because we think it would be such a great expirence 4 us and my family is very competitive….. and i just want to say 1 more time we just want to know were to sign up.:):):):):):):):):):)

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jen July 27, 2009 at 8:26 pm

love the show, we have five kids ranging form 22-10 years old. we all love the adventures and we are compettive family. where do we sign up?

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ScooterJon July 27, 2009 at 7:15 pm

This show is shrill and lame. The cast, including the host is annoying. Watched 2 episodes, won’t watch more.

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