'The Amazing Race Israel' Finale Hits Record Ratings

'The Amazing Race Israel'

Reshet's local version of the hit reality show attracted more than 1.5 million viewers.

The Amazing Race Israel crossed its latest finish line in the holy land to record numbers.

The fourth-season finale, which aired locally on Saturday night, received ratings of 41.8 percent and a 58.1 percent household share for Channel 2's Reshet Broadcasting, and while previous reality-competition finales saw slightly higher numbers, total viewership of the broadcast resulted in 1.5 million viewers, an all-time high for a final episode in the genre, attributed to shared household/family viewing.

The episode's crowning moment — when duo Shani Alon and Shay Gavriel edged out the competition to cross the finish line in Tel Aviv and take the 1 million shekels ($250,000) prize — peaked with ratings of 45.6 percent and 65.7 percent household share. The entire fourth season averaged a 33.6 percent average and 46.3 percent household share, with approximately a million viewers tuning in regularly.

The Saturday broadcast faced competition from Israel's national soccer team home match against Wales as part of the preliminarily UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying tournament, which got a 17 percent rating.

The fourth season of family favorite The Amazing Race Israel was a hit for Reshet, both with water-cooler chatter for its out-of-the-box casting choices (including the winning team and a pair of Russian immigrants with heavy accents who proved fan favorites) and light-hearted challenges, all helping it consistently top weekly ratings throughout 18 weeks of broadcast. The show easily overpowered rival Channel 2 franchiser Keshet, which aired the sophomore season of Rising Star and a celebrity edition of MasterChef Israel (long shelved after filming wrapped in early 2013).

The Amazing Race Israel has broadcast since 2009 in Israel, one of the first international territories to launch its own installment of the Elise Doganieri/Bertram van Munster-created, 10-time Emmy-winning show. Just last month the local edition won the award for best reality competition show at Israel's Academy for Film and Television's annual ceremony.

Reshet locally owns the rights to the format and has had similar success stories with local editions of other big formats, including The X Factor Israel, which is slated to premiere its second season this summer, once again headlined by host supermodel Bar Refaeli.

Reshet also has its first installment of Survivor Israel tentatively lined up for later in 2015, as the format's rights were previously owned by Channel 10, which locally produced six seasons.

"We are very pleased with the success of the fourth season of The Amazing Race. This is a tremendous achievement for the show worldwide", said Reshet vp Content Erez Ben-Harush. "It's a recognition from the public that this is the world's best reality show format and we are delighted to announce a fifth season."

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