Hills season four debut down 1.3 million viewers from its March return

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.

Show Tracker: What you’re watching [Los Angeles Times]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.