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Drag Race's season 16 premiere episode broke a series ratings record

Drag Race's season 16 premiere episode broke a series ratings record

Dawn; RuPaul; Sapphira Cristál on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 episode 1
Images: MTV

The pop culture phenomenon of RuPaul’s Drag Race continues to reign supreme.

Numbers don’t lie: RuPaul’s Drag Race is still slaying the house down boots.

On the heels of RuPaul extending his record for most wins in the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program category — a new total of eight consecutive trophies for Mama Ru — Deadline has now reported record-high ratings for the series.

Nielsen’s live + three-day data shows that the grand premiere of Drag Race season 16, which aired Friday, Jan. 5 on MTV, had the best TV share for any season premiere in the herstory of the franchise. Namely, season 16’s share was up 4 percent in comparison to season 15.

The season 16 premiere also had the highest-rated Drag Race premiere episode in six years among the key demographic of adults aged 18-49, scoring a total of 0.91.

According to Nielsen’s ratings data, Drag Race was also the most-watched cable show of the day on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, in both 18-49 and 18-34 demos.

The Deadline report acknowledges that moving Drag Race to MTV last year, with season 15, has generally helped the show’s ratings. After all, MTV reaches a wider audience than its Paramount-owned sister networks VH1 and Logo TV. Nonetheless, the ratings for the season 16 premiere were higher than the season 15 premiere, which could be great news for the rest of the season airing on MTV.

With record-breaking Emmys and ratings, 2024 is turning out to be a fantastic year for the Drag Race franchise. And it’s just getting started, henny!

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 airs every Friday on MTV.

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Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains the queer pop culture multiverse. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains the queer pop culture multiverse. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.