Ben Robinson’s Return Marks Another Series High for ‘Below Deck Med’

Producers likely knew the return of chef Ben Robinson on Below Deck Mediterranean would be a ratings boon. Indeed, the big homecoming crushed it making the episode the highest number of total viewers the series has ever experienced.

According to Bravo Ratings, “#BelowDeckMed S04E13 – 1.705 million viewers (0.60 18-49 demo) *series high in total viewers*. For the 3rd time this season, Below Deck Mediterranean has reached a new series high – this is the highest total viewers the show has ever had!”

 Joao Franco, Captain Sandy Yawn
Joao Franco, Captain Sandy Yawn |Greg Endries/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The show had considerable competition because it was up against the MTV Video Music Awards. But despite being up against the popular award show, Below Deck Med still gained 0.04 to 0.60, according to ShowBuzz Daily. The show ended in the sixth position for all shows that night.

Best season yet

A number of fans have commented on social media that the season is the best yet from the franchise. The ratings seem to match comments as this is the third time Below Deck Med broke records.

Only weeks ago, Bravo PR announced on Twitter that the show was reaching new heights. “The Naughty Yachties of #BelowDeckMed are reaching new highs as they’ve sailed their way to the most-watched episode of the series-to-date among total viewers, delivering 1.3M P18-49 (up +3% versus the prior week’s episode), 1.5M P25-54 (up +2%), and 2.7M total viewers (up +6%).”

Plus, shortly after the season set sail, the show hit its first “all-time high” ratings too. “S04E03 – 1.699 million viewers (0.61 18-49 demo) *series high*,” Bravo Ratings tweeted in late June. Adding, “this is the highest rating (total viewers and demo) that #BelowDeckMed has received in all 4 seasons!”

This season is drama packed

Every season of Below Deck is fueled by drama. But this season of Below Deck Med didn’t allow viewers to catch their breath from the explosive season of Below Deck.

Below Deck Med opened with a new alliance between chief stew Hannah Ferrier and bosun João Franco. The two couldn’t be in the same room without arguing last season. Plus, in addition to fan-favorite deckhand Colin Macy-O’Toole, viewers met four new fun cast members. But what put fans on a rollercoaster was chef Mila Kolomeitseva. The chef made homophobic statements and prepared meals from a box for guests.

This season brought a number of fast-paced crew changes too. Only two charters in, Captain Sandy Yawn fired Kolomeitseva. For the first time in the franchise, she promoted third stew Anastasia Surmava to chef and June Foster joined Sirocco. But Surmava struggled in the kitchen and the writing as on the wall she was sinking.

‘Hellos lovelies’

Cast members vehemently denied chef Ben Robinson would return. Long before the season launched, a cast photo circulated that included Robinson front and center. The French restaurant that shared the photo on Instagram has since removed the image.

So when a trailer teased that a “mysterious” person would join the crew along with the signature, “hello lovelies,” fans knew Robinson would return. His first show back did not disappoint too. Robinson was thrown immediately into the next charter only to learn half of the stove burners did not work.

Despite the hurdles, he made magic in the kitchen. Before his return, he explained why being a yacht chef was so exhausting. “Ultimately, I’m approaching 40 now,” Robinson told People. “I got into the industry when I was 22, I was a young buck. You can do anything when you’re 22. Below Deck and Below Deck Mediterranean carried me through into my mid-30s. I don’t know how Roger Federer does it, to be honest!”