Bravo: Do viewers prefer long-running shows or more random series?

SOUTHERN CHARM NEW ORLEANS, Reagan Charleston, Tamica Lee, Rachel McKenzie -- (Photo by: Erika Tyler Kaufman/Bravo)
SOUTHERN CHARM NEW ORLEANS, Reagan Charleston, Tamica Lee, Rachel McKenzie -- (Photo by: Erika Tyler Kaufman/Bravo) /

While life changes rapidly these days, many viewers rely on their favorite Bravo shows to feel normal – but what kind of shows do we want in the future?

Whether you’ve been watching Bravo for 12 years or 12 days, you certainly have favorite shows and favorite franchises.  When a show is popular, such as Below Deck or Southern Charm, it can often produce successful off-shoots of the original idea.  Below Deck has produced Below Deck Mediterranean and Below Deck Sailing Yacht, while Southern Charm had Southern Charm New Orleans and Southern Charm SavannahThe Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Kandi Burruss, has had The Kandi Factory, Kandi Koated Nights, Kandi’s wedding, and her not-yet-released show about Old Lady Gang.

But recently it seems that the shorter shows with less long-term goals are doing okay.  Though it wasn’t renewed for a second season, viewers enjoyed Mexican DynastiesFamily Karma was a hit but was filmed more than two years ago at this point and there’s been no follow-up done.  These shows seem to receive less promotion which can sometimes attribute to the low viewing numbers, but is this what viewers want more of?  The ratings for these shows versus something like RHOBH tell us no.   According to ShowbuzzDaily, Beverly Hills had .59 and Mexican Dynasties had .15. up from .03 the week before.  On Sunday nights with an RHOA lead-in, RHOA was the eighth show of the night (at .23 of the viewers) while Family Karma was the thirtieth show of the night (at .03 of the viewers.)

The issue with spin-offs and shows with too many seasons is they tend to be overproduced.  The behind-the-scenes team thinks they know what viewers want and will twist storylines and characters to fit that narrative.  It recently came out that an editor from Vanderpump Rules didn’t like Scheana Shay so she gave her a “boy crazy” storyline and tried to embarrass her when possible.  The editor was let go, but how long was this happening before we found out?

Vanderpump Rules has been accused of being too produced and since they are in the eighth season, the cast and crew have become like family.  The show seems to be suffering. because of it.  Would it be better if they had a new crew every season?  If they ditched the cast after four seasons when they become too comfortable?

The issue is that if the show is making money – why would they change it?  But it always comes across as more authentic during the first few seasons, before the cast knows how to “act” for the cameras.  So, do viewers enjoy the shorter, smaller, offshoots of shows that thrive for a short while and fizzle out?  The numbers say no.  But when you get to a show like The Real Housewives of Orange County that is 15 seasons in and you let go some of the original cast – what is next for them?  The ratings for RHOC aren’t bad, but what would happen if they ended the show five seasons ago?  Where would Vicki Gunvalson be now?

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Obviously, Bravo does a good job of mixing in both long-running series and some new, fresh ideas.  Sometimes shows just don’t resonate with viewers, and that’s okay.  There’s no need to have more seasons of a show that viewers don’t enjoy.  But what kind of show would you like to see in Bravo’s 2021 lineup?

Stay tuned for more Bravo news and shows throughout the summer!