Arts & Culture News

The Real Housewives of Dallas Are in Real Danger of Being Canceled

We’re more than halfway through the premiere season of The Real Housewives of Dallas. We’re using the word ‘we’ because this is a team effort. We can’t do it alone. We need support. See?

That's because the ratings for The Real Housewives of Dallas have been consistently low. The first two episodes had a 0.4 rating (meaning 0.4 percent of people ages 18 to 49 watched), and then a 0.3 rating for episodes 3 through 5. Things are mildly starting to look up with episode 6 earning a 0.4 rating.

But it's still not great. To put that in perspective, more people are watching SpongeBob SquarePants at 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoons on Nickelodeon. The viewership for Dallas’ Housewives installment drops off after Southern Charm finishes at 9 p.m. on Bravo. (1.161 million people tuned into its latest episode, while 883,000 people tuned into The Real Housewives of Dallas’ latest episode, which aired directly after Southern Charm.)

During the same timeslot, Teen Mom 2 on MTV garnered 1.455 million viewers, surpassing The Real Housewives of Dallas by several hundred thousand viewers. And to make matters worse, when Bravo pulled a Surprise Saturday on May 7, airing all the week's new episodes Saturday night, The Real Housewives of Dallas didn't even earn a spot in the top 100 most watched cable showed by people ages 18 to 49. Monday night, however, it was in the top 50.

These numbers pale in comparison to The Real Housewives of Potomac and The Real Housewives of Atlanta (see graph). Atlanta is the Housewives' highest rated installment, according to Rick Porter, editor of TV by the Numbers. Potomac, like Dallas, also premiered this year, but seems to be doing better.

This season of The Real Housewives of Dallas will have 10 episodes, not including the reunion, which films next week. A Bravo representative did not offer up a timeline of when or if it will be renewed for a second season, adding they don't know, but if we were in the betting business, it’s not looking good.

The only Housewives installment to be canceled after one season was The Real Housewives of D.C., which aired in 2010. Its premiere episode drew in 1.628 million viewers and scored a 0.8 rating and stayed above a 0.6 rating for its first six episodes. The Real Housewives of Dallas has yet to reach a 0.6 rating — not even for its premiere. Even with the good ratings, The Real Housewives of D.C. was canceled because of that scandal involving one of its stars crashing a White House state dinner, Andy Cohen, executive producer of the Housewives franchise, said in late 2015. He added that there was “a stink on (the series)” after that incident.

But what about The Real Housewives of Dallas’ stink? Why aren’t viewers tuning in? It took about four episodes to get past conversations revolving around poop. And the women seem to want to resolve any conflicts as soon as they happen. We saw a fight between best friends LeeAnne Locken and Tiffany Hendra in episode 5 that lasted all of one day. And then during the next episode when Locken and Hendra confronted Marie Reyes with text messages, Reyes backed down and apologized. Is this what viewers are accustomed to seeing on The Real Housewives screen?
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner