‘Below Deck Med’ Episode Featuring Hannah Ferrier’s Departure Made Franchise History

Below Deck Mediterranean continues to shatter records as chief stew Hannah Ferrier‘s dismissal was the most-watched episode in the history of the series.

“Last Monday, August 17th’s episode of #BelowDeckMed ranked as the most-watched episode in series history,” Bravo PR tweeted. “And 2nd most-watched ever for the entire #Below Deck franchise, garnering 2.74M total viewers.”

Jessica More from 'Below Deck Med'
Jessica More | Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo

Live viewership skyrocketed for the episode. “S05E12 – 1.872 million viewers (0.64 18-49 demo) *series high*,” according to Bravo Ratings. Captain Sandy Yawn confronted Ferrier about a photo sent to her of Ferrier’s unregistered prescription valium.

Yawn said that between the unregistered medication and Ferrier’s behavior this season, she didn’t feel as though it was safe to go to sea with Ferrier. She fired the chief stew, which has never happened in the history of the franchise.

‘Below Deck Med’ season 5 breaks ratings records

The entire season has been one ratings record after another. The season started at an all time high. “S05E01 – 1.514 million viewers (0.55 18-49 demo) *highest rated premiere*,” Bravo Ratings tracked. Viewers were hungry for a season led by all women after the misogyny-slathered Below Deck season.

Ratings remained high, hovering steadily within the 1.6 million to 1.7 million range. Of course the revolving door of cast members kept fans on their toes. Second stew Lara Flumiani’s shockingly insubordinate behavior had viewers wondering how Ferrier would manage her. But Flumiani suddenly quit after only one charter. Christine “Bugsy” Drake replaced her, which was controversial for the show. Drake and Ferrier ended season 2 on bad terms.

RELATED: Dramatic ‘Below Deck Med’ Episode Crushes Ratings and Hits Series Record High

The hot series got even steamier when new fan favorite chef Hindrigo “Kiko” Lorran ended up leaving the boat. Bosun Malia White’s boyfriend chef Tom Checketts, who was merely visiting White, ended up taking over the chef position. Ratings were already amped and Ferrier was fired shortly after Lorran’s departure.

The season also marked this historic departure

The series is built on two returning cast members: the captain and the chief stew. While other crew members were fired on the series, the captain has never fired the chief stew until now.

Former Below Deck chief stew Kate Chastain almost quit mid-season last year. She was viciously attacked by the bosun in a van ride back to the boat after a night of drinking. Chastain gathered her belongings, told a producer she wanted her passport, and left the boat in the middle of the night. She ultimately returned the next day to finish the season. Chastain announced she was retiring from the show after the season 7 reunion.

RELATED: ‘Below Deck Med’: Hannah Ferrier’s Departure May Mark a Historic Moment for the Franchise

Chastain was the second chief stew on Below Deck. Adrienne Gang was the chief stew for season 1. She finished the season but Chastain replaced her and appeared for six seasons. Ferrier has been chief stew on Below Deck Med since season 1.

Can the series retain ratings?

Some fans were furious with the way Ferrier was fired. They lashed out at White for surreptitiously sending the photo of Ferrier’s medication to Yawn. They also dogged Yawn for being a micromanager this season. Many vowed to stop watching the series after Ferrier was fired.

While the show dipped in ratings the following week, ratings were still on fire. “S05E13 – 1.740 million viewers (0.60 18-49 demo),” Bravo Ratings reported. The upcoming week features returning guest, MLB player Johnny Damon.

RELATED: ‘Below Deck Med’ Welcomes Aesha Scott Back To the Show

“Baseball legend Johnny Damon returns to charter in Ibiza, putting pressure on Tom to rectify the Damons’ poor experience with the food they were served last season,” according to the episode description. “With Aesha onboard, Bugsy ups her expectations for the interior team. Meanwhile, Rob’s personal life begins to interfere with his work, and Jess notices some red flags with his behavior.”