Chief stew Christine “Bugsy” Drake, second stew Aesha Scott, and third stew Jessica More were host Andy Cohen’s guests. The trio appeared after the Below Deck Med Season 5 finale, which left viewers with more questions than answers.
Viewers were clearly intrigued. “12 Oct 2020 – 1.072 million viewers (0.40 18-49 demo) *highest rated WWHL since Teresa & Joe’s special*,” Bravo Ratings reported on Twitter. The special featuring Joe and Teresa Giudice from The Real Housewives of New Jersey garnered 1.7 million viewers with 841,000 in the 18-49 demo, Deadline reports.
‘Below Deck Med’ started with a slow build
WWHL ratings seem to be often very guest dependent and are often on the high end whenever a Below Deck Med cast member appeared this season.
However, the first guests of the Below Deck Med season didn’t generate high ratings. Captain Sandy Yawn and bosun Malia White appeared on the June 15 show and only generated 0.271 million viewers (0.07 18-49 demo), according to Bravo Ratings.
The next appearance with chief stew Hannah Ferrier and More didn’t do much better. One person commented on the Bravo Ratings thread that putting WWHL after new show Camp Getaway possibly hurt ratings. Below Deck Med‘s ratings were through the roof with each episode smashing ratings records.
‘Below Deck Med’ brought strong ratings to ‘WWHL’
WWHL’s ratings began to climb when chef Hindrigo “Kiko” Lorran and deckhand Alex Radcliffe from Below Deck Med made their first appearance in the Clubhouse. “06 July 2020 – 0.719 million viewers (0.22 18-49 demo),” Bravo Ratings reports.
Ratings exploded from there. Most Below Deck Med WWHL cast appearances generated higher than average ratings. The cast even set a record for WWHL. “27 July 2020 – 0.930 million viewers (0.27 18-49 demo) *highest rated WWHL ‘at home’ episode*,” according to Bravo Ratings.
The season was explosive, including the most cast departures ever for Below Deck Med. Plus, the season was also the first time a chief stew was fired, which was shrouded in controversy.
Why does ‘Below Deck’ bring the ratings?
Below Deck Med Season 5 generated some of the strongest ratings not only for the franchise but for Bravo. Former Below Deck Med cast member explained to Showbiz Cheat Sheet why viewers keep coming back for more.
“I think it’s the fresh faces every year,” former deckhand Colin Macy-O’Toole said. “People like that. The charter guests are different every year. The location is different every year.”
“I’m not discrediting the [Housewives] franchise,” he added. “But I think [the reason] why we have higher ratings than [the Housewives] is because every season is a fresh start.”
“You always have to have a few returns but then having them interact with new people who they never met before,” he continued. “Plus the whole work environment is different. It’s not like they’re just hanging out like, ‘Hey let’s go to this dinner party.’ Who wants to watch that?”