Arts & Culture News

What Explains The Real Housewives of Dallas' Slumping Ratings?

If you're not watching The Real Housewives of Dallas, then you might not be the only one.

Ratings for the Dallas-based show have decreased each week since its premiere. According to TV By The Numbers, a TV ratings site, about 1 million people tuned in to the premiere episode, then 920,000 for the second, and 828,000 for the third. The first two episodes had a 0.4 rating, which means 0.4 percent of people ages 18 to 49 tuned in. The third episode had a 0.3 rating.

To put that into perspective, The Real Housewives of Potomac, which also debuted this year, had a 0.9 rating for its premiere episode and then a 0.7 and 0.8 for number two and three, respectively. Rick Porter, editor of TV By The Numbers, says The Real Housewives of Atlanta is the highest-rated show in the franchise. (The show's April 10 episode had a 0.7 rating.) So it helps that Potomac trails Atlanta in Bravo's lineup, and on higher-viewed Sundays instead of Mondays.

Lara Spotts, head of development at Bravo, told the Observer before the series premiered that Dallas felt like a natural addition to the Housewives franchise.

“We felt like we were very coastal. A lot of our shows were in New York and LA. We’d fished around in Miami a little bit, but our audience didn’t really connect with the people we found," Spotts said.
Dallas, on the other hand, had all the ingredients. "Dallas seemed like a really exciting and unexpected city to find Bravo-type personalities," Spotts said. "What that means is we look for people who obviously are larger than life, who typically don’t have a filter — they have a sophisitication and sometimes even their own lexicon, their own way of speaking — and we found that in Dallas."

She added that the Dallas Housewives cast is made up of comedians, loyal friendships, a fallen hero — everything Bravo looks for in a cast.

“When you watch this series, you think, 'I wanna live with them for the next five, six, seven seasons.'”

On the contrary, it's not clear that many people do.
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner