EXCLUSIVE: Shantay you stay! RuPaul’s Drag Race slayed ratings records with its Season 13 premiere on January 1. The Emmy-winning reality drag queen competition rang in the “Ru year” with a gag-worthy new season that became the most-watched episode in the history of the franchise with a staggering 1.3 million total viewers.
The season premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race on VH1 delivered a 0.4 P18-49/LSD rating, which is up +1% from the Season 12 premiere. In addition, the premiere was up triple digits from time period benchmarks, up +144% vs. the P4W average (movies, 0.17) and +115% vs. year ago time slot (movies, 0.19).
For the first time in its 12-year run, VH1 simulcast the premiere on The CW Network, MTV, MTV2, PopTV and Logo. The full simulcast delivered a 0.74 P18-49 rating and netted 1.3 million total viewers (P2+). VH1 tallied 525,000 viewers with The CW earning 478,000 and 111,000 tuning in on MTV. Rounding out the simulcast tally were Logo with 58,000 viewers; Pop with 116,000 and MTV2 with 27,000.
The 13th season welcomed 13 new queens including Denali, Elliott with 2 Ts, Gottmik, Joey Jay, Kahmora Hall, Kandy Muse, LaLa Ri, Olivia Lux, Rosé, Symone, Tamisha Iman, Tina Burner, and Utica Queen as they compete for the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar”. The queens were met with a huge twist: as soon as they made their grand entrance into the “werk” room, they were ushered to the mainstage to defend their place in the competition by lip-syncing for their lives.
The game-changing premiere paves the way to more shocks and surprises for the queens. This season, RuPaul’s Drag Race will welcome Cynthia Erivo, Nicole Byer, Loni Love, TS Madison and Jamal Sims as guest judges alongside Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley, Ross Mathews and RuPaul. Superfans Anne Hathaway and Scarlett Johansson will also surprise the queens with interactive video masterclasses while Miss Congeniality winners from past seasons Nina West, Valentina and Heidi N Closet will also make guest appearances.