‘The Chase’ Returns, Drops in Ratings After Debuting on New Night

by Jennifer Shea

“The Chase” has moved to a new night, and unfortunately, the game show didn’t bring all its viewers along with it.

With 3.9 million viewers on Sunday night, the show was down a bit from its winter averages. “The Chase” previously aired on Thursdays.

For the uninitiated, “The Chase” is an American update of the British game show of the same name. The ABC show features three chasers, or trivia whizzes, who try to stop the contestants from winning money. One chaser goes up against the contestants per show. The current American chasers are former “Jeopardy!” champions James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.

‘The Chase’ Is Tougher Than ‘Jeopardy!’

“Jeopardy!” can be a pretty tough game. But “The Chase” is arguably tougher, giving the contestants some fierce opposition rather than, say, the gentle, calming presence of late “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek or any subsequent guest hosts.

“One thing I really like [about The Chase] is that you have to beat the final boss,” Holzhauer told Entertainment Weekly earlier this year. “Sometimes you watch a ‘Jeopardy!’ episode and it’s like the NFC East, where somebody has to win even if none of them deserve it. There are no undeserving winners on ‘The Chase.’ You have to defeat the chaser in a big battle and earn your money there.”

And the chasers have it comparatively easy. They get paid whether they beat the contestants or not. It’s only their pride and natural competitive drive that pushes them to try to smack the contestants down. But that makes things that much harder for the contestants.

“All the pressure is on the contestants, ’cause they’re the ones playing for the big bucks,” Rutter said.

Chasers Developed a Rapport on the Show

The chasers all have their “Jeopardy!” wins in common. And they quickly developed a rapport based on their game show history and shared objective of denying the contestants any prize money.

“One of the interesting things about this is, we’re on the same team now, instead of playing against each other,” Rutter told EW. “So of course we’ll still want to do better than the other two guys, but I was kind of rooting for them too.”

“I think the format only works because we also like each other,” Jennings added. “If we genuinely didn’t like each other, the ribbing would not work.”

“The Chase,” which is currently in its second season, airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET.