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The Below Deck franchise has officially taken over as Bravo‘s top-rated series as the current televised season continues to outpace every other series on the network.

Captain Lee Rosbach, Kate Chastain
Captain Lee Rosbach, Kate Chastain | Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank

The Below Deck effect has even had a residual impact on the network’s late-night talk show, Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. Below Deck cast members who appear on the 30-minute dishy show tend to pull higher ratings than other guests, including A-list celebrities.

Surprisingly, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, which has consistently been Bravo’s highest-rated show for years already hit an unexpected speedbump in the ratings. After a strong premiere, ratings for the second episode were flat, which shocked many fans. “S13E02 – 1.189 million viewers (0.38 18-49 demo),” Bravo Ratings shared.

Some fans are suggesting an overall Housewives overhaul with the return of many original cast members. But in the meantime, Below Deck reigns supreme.

‘Below Deck’ continues to break records

The show turned up the heat during the latest episode, garnering its highest ratings this season. “S08E07 – 1.547 million viewers (0.55 18-49 demo) *season high*,” Bravo Ratings reported on Twitter. Adding in a thread, “Below Deck is the #1 Bravo show now.”

Indeed. Below Deck Season 8 comes off the heels of the most explosive, drama-fueled season of Below Deck ever. Below Deck Mediterranean Season 5 was the highest-rated season in the entire history of the franchise. “Season five of #BelowDeckMed finished as the highest-rated season in #BelowDeck franchise history among total viewers, garnering nearly 2.6M viewers an episode,” Bravo Ratings tweeted when the season ended.

Below Deck Season 7 also crushed records. “Anchors away! Last week’s #BelowDeck was the most-watched episode of the season-to-date with 2.6M total viewers, up +16% from the prior week’s episode,” Bravo PR shared on Twitter in early January.

And while the series has left viewers breathless, it certainly is not without controversy. Both Below Deck Season 7 and Below Deck Med Season 5 came with considerable viewer backlash. Fans lashed out at the “bros” on Below Deck Season 7. They were also angry with Captain Sandy Yawn and bosun Malia White for how they fired chief stew, Hannah Ferrier.

Fans want a ‘Housewives’ reboot

The Housewives series hasn’t seen the same high ratings over the last several months. The newest season of The Real Housewives of Orange County has consistently rated lower than in previous seasons.

Plus, the RHOA shocker cemented fans’ opinions the franchise may need an overhaul. “Y’all, this is awful for RHOA, RHOBH is now the #1 housewives show,” one person shared on the Twitter thread about RHOA latest ratings. Some blamed the ratings on Nene Leakes’ departure. But others insisted the show is better without Leakes.


‘Below Deck Med’ Scores Highest Premiere Rating Ever Across the Franchise

The same can be said about The Real Housewives of Orange County. A slew of fans vowed to ban the show because Kelly Dodd returned. Her remarks about COVID and racial injustice left outrage within the fandom. And while some people suggested the return of Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson, others, like RHOA, didn’t want OGs to return.

The new series, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City has struggled with ratings, but not with fans. Bravo lovers have heralded the series, but many claim it is televised live too late at night after RHOC. “How do we get this to not air at 10 pm after a show we’re boycotting bc they refuse to fire a racist?” one person suggested on Twitter.