RHODC finale shows Salahis’ White House visit; season has lost viewers, who are older

The Real Housewives of DC ended its first season last night after losing viewers and skewing older than its sibling series, never mind having less drama, though Bravo says all of this was to be expected. Michaele and Tareq Salahi brought the show most of its pre-season publicity, and the season ended with their infamous trip to the White House, after breaking the fourth wall last week as Michaele searched for their (non-existent) invitation when a producer challenged her it.

Although the episode showed no evidence of their actual invitation, and revealed that they weren’t on the list but went in anyway, the couple feels vindicated. On Andy Cohen’s show, Tareq said, according to TV Squad, “The world’s been waiting for this: You saw that we didn’t lie, we didn’t scale a fence … We showed our real IDs; we said our real names.” Even Andy challenged that, saying we didn’t see “the smoking gun that you’re talking about.”

While devoid of typical Real Housewives drama, this season has done okay for Bravo, although it draws an older audience. That’s according to a Washington Post report, which notes that the average age of a Real Housewives of DC viewer is 39.9 years, well over the 34 years that The Real Housewives of Atlanta pulled in its first season.

And while ratings aren’t terrible–an average of 1.58 million people watch, the second-best first-season ratings for a Real Housewives series, after the 2.55 million New Jersey drew its first season–it has lost viewers. It started with 1.628 million viewers and is now down to 1.18 million. The Post’s Lisa de Moraes notes that the cast members are “not wig tearing, table-flipping mad — which has, from the start, been one of the problems with this iteration of the Bravo network ratings magnet.”

Bravo VP Andy Cohen agrees, saying the series is “less noisy” because “It’s serious, it’s politics. For people who expect to see table flipping or wig pulling — that was never going to happen on this show.” But he insists it’s not the least dramatic: “I’ve always said of ‘OC’ that’s probably our quietest, in terms of the drama — to me that’s the ‘Knots Landing’ of the franchise — their hair is blonder, their boobs are bigger, and they probably drink a little more than a lot of our other housewives,” he told the paper.

But he also said that the ratings drop-off was to be expected, too. “We never had a ‘Housewives’ series be as noisy in the month leading up to its premiere. It would have been impossible to maintain the cacophony of what was going on in the pre-launch of this show,” he said.

‘Real Housewives of DC’: Fat lady has not yet sung [Washington Post]

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.