When The Hills returned in March for the extension of its third season, 4.8 million people, a record number of viewers for the show, tuned in. But last night, for the debut of the fourth season, only 3.5 million people watched, a loss of 1.3 million viewers.
It also lost younger viewers, although kept enough to make the episode the second-most popular in the demo. The Los Angeles Times reports that “[a]mong adults ages 18 to 49, the episode notched a 2.0 rating/5 share, down a significant 29% from the March season opener (2.8/7) but good enough to make the premiere the reality show’s second-best.”
Of course, the show was airing opposite the Olympics. Still, there was a somewhat equivalent break between blocks of new episodes–a three-month break between seasons three and four, and about three and a half months between the first and second half of season three–so that’s not to blame, and even though the break in season three was longer, the second-half debut had record ratings. Maybe viewers are tired of the show like Lauren is.