CNBC’s debut Tuesday into primetime reality shows had its ratings ups and downs with Treasure Detectives and The Car Chasers. The newly minted CNBC Prime premiered both shows this week to kick off the business network’s long planned evening rebrand. Debuting at 9 PM, the antiquities authenticating Treasure Detectives pulled in 279,000 total viewers and 62,000 in the Adults 25-54 demographic on the channel. That’s a jump from the 195,000 total viewers and 49,000 in the demo that watched the 60 Minutes repeat that sat in the slot last week. However, Car Chasers did not fare as well. The series, which follows classic car dealers Jeff Allen and Perry Barndt as buying and selling exotic vehicles around the country, fell double digits from the encore episode of American Greed that aired at 10 PM on February 26. Earning 210,000 total viewers and 64,000 among the 25-54, Car Chasers was down 25% in audience and 22% in the demo from what the true crime series got the week before.
Treasure Detectives and The Car Chasers will premiere March 5 at 9 PM and 10 PM, respectively, when the new programming block CNBC Prime kicks off. They will be the first reality series on CNBC, which recently said it was developing a primetime slate featuring reality programming, existing series including American Greed and Crime Inc, and in-house documentaries. “The conflict between fear and greed and buy and sell plays out on our air everyday so there is great opportunity to extend those themes into primetime,” CNBC president and CEO Mark Hoffman said. “Reality is ever-expanding and with our unique content focused on money, CNBC is well-positioned to influence the genre.”
Treasure Detectives is a one-hour series featuring fakes and forgeries detective Curtis Dowling, whose team will meet collectors and verify the authenticity of collectibles, artwork and antiquities using innovative technology and street smarts. The Car Chasers, from ITV Studios America in association with Leepson Bounds Entertainment, follows classic car dealers Jeff Allen and Perry Barndt as they travel the country playing the high-stakes game of buying and selling exotic cars — including dealing with Allen’s father Tom Souter, who runs a competing dealership.
The business network also has added four unscripted projects to its development slate. Here are their descriptions: