Kelly Dodd is at it again, slamming the ratings for RHOC Season 16 and openly questioning Andy Cohen about the reboot’s success.
“Wait, wasn’t I the ratings problem?” she posted. “Wasn’t there a boycott?? We got over a million viewers 14 out of 16 weeks last season despite HUGE competition from election coverage on the news!!!”
She continued,” This year? #RHOC16 under a million 3x in 4 weeks!”
Andy promptly responded to Kelly’s question, explaining that Bravo prefers to look at ratings that take into account recorded viewings, like DVR, but those numbers are released much later than the live viewing numbers which come out the day after an episode airs on TV.
“Good morning!” he replied. “Reboot going great. Feels like a return to form for #RHOC. Look at the delayed numbers, not live. That’s what’s measured.”
… But Who’s Right?
The short answer is that both Kelly Dodd and Andy Cohen are correct — and here’s why.
Kelly Dodd is correct that RHOC Season 16 is rating lower than Season 15.
When it comes to live numbers, that means reflecting the audience that tunes in live on Wednesday nights, it’s true that this season is rating lower. In a statement to Page Six, Kelly later clarified that she was in fact specifically talking about the live ratings.
Click Here to see full numbers for both seasons and compare on an episode-to-episode basis yourself.
Andy Cohen is correct in asking Kelly to look at the delayed numbers.
RHOC, like most other Bravo shows, will grow in viewership once recorded viewings like DVR is considered. While live ratings are released the day after an episode airs, L3 (live plus 3 days) and L7 (live plus 7 days) numbers aren’t released until a few days after airing.
Advertisers have typically been more interested in live ratings but as more and more viewers watch their favourite shows in different ways, the networks and Nielsen, the company that measures ratings, have had to adapt.
If you were to include delayed viewing when looking at RHOC Season 16, Kelly Dodd would still be correct.
By using Andy’s logic of included delayed viewing, RHOC Season 16 would only increase in overall viewership, not see any decline. So Season 16 would still be higher rated than the currently-airing Season 15 but to Andy’s point, sharing delayed numbers more regularly would show that the show isn’t rating as low as some initially think.
Andy Cohen is correct that Bravo may be more interested in delayed viewership numbers.
Nielsen, the company that measures U.S. TV ratings, still heavily relies on live viewership, as do many of the networks.
However, Andy is correct that Bravo may be more interested in delayed viewership numbers and there are a few reasons why: 1) Bravo viewers tend to be younger and therefore, may be more inclined to watch online or in the days after an episode airs, and 2) Bravo clearly knows that they receive a lot of increased viewership when L3 and L7 numbers are included, so it would only make sense to want to talk about these numbers in particular.
RHOC Season 16 is rating higher than many other Bravo shows.
Networks are usually aware that shows are going to go through ups and downs with ratings, especially when there is so much competition in the industry and so many choices for consumers. So, while RHOC Season 16 may be rating lower than Season 15, it is still scoring higher numbers than many other Bravo shows.
For example, RHOC is rating higher than the Winter House, The Real Housewives of New York, The Real Housewives of Dallas, Vanderpump Rules, and Million Dollar Listing. That said, the show is scoring lower than The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, The Real Housewives of Potomac, and of course, The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
RHOC Season 14 is higher rated than both Season 15 and Season 16.
One fact that is sure to upset both Kelly and Andy is that RHOC Season 14 is higher rated than both Season 15 and Season 16 anyways and it probably isn’t a coincidence that was the last season to feature both Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson. Both, it should be pointed out, are returning to the Bravo family on Season 2 of Peacock’s Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip.
So while one may want to be quick to pick a side, as of right now, both Kelly and Andy are at least a little bit correct. Only time will tell (and more episodes airing) which season will end up being more popular with viewers but one thing is for sure, Kelly Dodd wants to make it clear she never should have been fired from RHOC in the first place.
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesdays on Bravo.