‘Vanderpump Rules’ Reunion Rated Lowest in the Show’s History
Bravo Ratings reports that both part 1 and 2 bottomed out in the ratings. “S08E23 – 1.189 million viewers (0.43 18-49 demo) *lowest rated P2 reunion*,” according to a tweet. Adding, “also, last week was the lowest rated reunion rating in #PumpRules history.” The first part of the season reunion rated “1.071 million viewers (0.40 18-49 demo).”
Four cast members were fired on the day the second reunion episode aired. Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute were fired for reporting former cast member Faith Stowers to the police for crimes she did not commit in 2018.
Stowers, who is African American, recently recalled the incident during an Instagram live. Brett Caprioni and Max Boyens were also fired after racist tweets resurfaced from years ago. The tweets were addressed earlier in the season but both cast members received a “slap on the wrist.”
Will fans tune in for part 3?
Audience driven shows like the Housewives typically receive a multi-part reunion. Vanderpump Rules was also a huge draw and reunions were explosive. Although the cast became emotional, fought fiercely, albeit over Zoom, fans may not tune for more this year.
“Finally watching the Vanderpump Rules reunion show and it’s like watching a basketball team right before the owner blows up the roster to start a rebuild,” one person observed on Twitter.
Others demanded Bravo canceled the third installment. “@BravoTV if you are truly wanting to make change start by canceling Vanderpump Rules reunion tonight. Or are your firings just a PR salvo to save your ratings. I see Bravo lacks diversity among your upper executives don’t count the NBC ones),” a fan shared on Twitter.
Fan reaction may be due primarily to the firings
The cast firings may have simply been the final straw. Although viewers seemed to express annoyance with the hyper-expanded cast, they still tuned in. The season finale was respectable with more than 1.3 million viewers.
Plus viewership throughout the season did consistently well, with at least over 1 million viewers. In fact, Bravo Ratings tracked that the ratings increased throughout the season, showing that viewers were interested in finding out what was going to happen with the cast. Pre-quarantine, viewership hovered around the 1 million mark. But once the country went into lockdown and drama increased, ratings swelled to more than 1.2 and 1.3 million.
Even though ratings dove for the reunion, they actually inched up for the second part only hours after Bravo announced the cast firings. Perhaps viewers wanted to see if the network would have added or commented on the dismissals.
Andy Cohen agrees with the dismissals
Bravo producer Andy Cohen hosted a three-part Black Lives Matter Watch What Happens Live series following the death of George Floyd and subsequent unrest. Cohen looked extremely serious during the episodes, opening the floor for guests to share raw experiences.
Cohen shared his thoughts on his SiriusXM show, reminding fans that he does not produce Vanderpump Rules. But agreed with Bravo’s actions. “I absolutely support Bravo’s decision. I think it was the right decision,” he said the day after the cast members were fired.
Adding, “I feel like I remind people of this all the time: I’m not in charge of programming at Bravo anymore; I am not an executive producer of Vanderpump Rules. I don’t have anything to do with the show except I love it, and that I host the reunions.”