Aug 28, 2020
By Kelby Clark
Season 35 of the reality competition show earned its highest ratings in eight years and drove a social peak for the brand.
There may have been a dearth of professional sports this summer, but there was plenty of athleticism and competitive drama in MTV’s The Challenge: Total Madness to help fill the void.
As a result, this season of MTV's long-running reality competition series, which ran from April through July, was the highest-rated in eight years. Ratings for the premiere climbed 47% from last season’s average and it was the most social cable series for the night according to Deadline. The finale on July 15 attracted 1.5M total viewers and was the #1 cable telecast among P18-34 and P18-49.
"The Challenge is big and bad and bold, and the ratings show that this season,” Emer Harkin, executive producer and showrunner, told Entertainment Weekly. "It was such ridiculous timing that we aired when we did when the country went into an awful lull...for us to be the competition sporting outlet that everybody so desperately needed, it also bolsters our case for the importance that our show plays and our massive audience in the states."
Its success is also a testament to the series’ continued evolution on- and off-screen. The show has updated its production and game design, as well as the format of its storytelling across social, to deliver an immersive and action-packed experience across all platforms. Its social campaign during the past season drove more than 1.9 million social interactions across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram—an increase of more than 85% from the prior season.