Vanderpump Rules producer Alex Baskin has confirmed that the Bravo show was almost cancelled while describing Season 11 as a “worthy follow up” to Scandoval in a new interview.
Speaking to Deadline about the launch of his new unscripted production company, 32 Flavors, Baskin spilled on the new season of the Bravo hit, which has been filming since early June. “The timing of [Scandoval] happened to have been perfect,” he told the trade outlet. “It was insane and proof that there can still be a monoculture. The story of Vanderpump is one of survival more than anything.”
Confirming that Vanderpump Rules was on the brink of being cancelled before Scandoval, Baskin is thankful Bravo gave Evolution Media, his production home at the time and the company in charge of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Real Housewives of Orange County, another shot. “We were coming off a really tough ninth season and we had the cast firings before the season and there was a low energy season during the pandemic,” he explained, adding, “To the network’s credit, they gave us another run at it and we had a resurgence anyway.”
Baskin told Deadline that the cast is “so game to tell the real story” but that they have not been able to film with Raquel Leviss, as previously reported on TVDeets.com. The other main parties of Scandoval—Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval—are both returning, as are Lala Kent, Tom Schwartz, James Kennedy, Katie Maloney, Scheana Shay, Ally Lewber and Lisa Vanderpump.
“There’s one that we’re still figuring out even this deep into production. Otherwise, we’ve been filming with the others and it was a situation that involved the entire group so the aftermath was felt by everyone,” he said.
The experienced producer also explained how reality TV can continue to evolve in an era where it can be hard to break new shows. “We’re at a point where the buyers are trying to figure out a different version [of these types of shows]. There’s an investment and a commitment in docuseries that is really rare… but your goal can’t just be to have a franchise,” he explained. “There was a period where everyone thought if you could just come up with a title with a colon in then you were ok. But it’s more difficult than that. The lesson from any of these shows is that if you pull in the right personalities that are interesting, in the right context, you can really pull in viewers and not just over the course of the season, but over the course of many.”
As previously reported on TVDeets.com, the show has become a ratings monolith for Bravo thanks to Scandoval, with the season 10 reunion becoming the highest-rated episode on the network in over 9 years.
Vanderpump Rules will return to Bravo with Season 11 in 2024.