Real Housewives' controversy backfires

Spy News,
Publish Date
Friday, 28 October 2016, 11:00AM

It was the episode that had everyone talking, with lawyers calling in to try stop it going to air.

Episode six of the Real Housewives of Auckland became front-page news when Julia Sloane used a racial slur against fellow housewife Michelle Blanchard.

Read more: Lawyers called in over Real Housewives racial stoush

The Herald on Sunday broke the story, reporting Sloane had called in lawyers to try prevent the incident from screening.

But while speculation was rife that it was a publicity stunt designed to boost ratings, Nielsen figures show the incident did little to boost the programme's popularity. Rather, it appears to have seen viewers tune out long-term.

Episode six saw 124,000 viewers aged 5+ tune in to the show, which screened on Tuesday September 20.

That was up from the previous week's audience of 99,000 viewers. However, it was down on the average audience for the first five episodes of 139,000.

But after the controversial episode screened, viewer numbers declined, with the series final drawing 116,000 viewers.

At it's lowest point, episode nine, the series attracted just 84,000 viewers.

By comparison, TV3's The Bachelor NZ saw an average of 298,000 viewers tune in this year.

The final episode of Real Housewives saw the women at war again.

Read more:Real Housewives: What happened after the showRHOA: Why there is no reunion

The series marked the first local production for Bravo, which launched in July. And while the ratings don't compare to other networks' results, general manager Maria Mahoney says the series was a success for the channel.

"I'm absolutely delighted with the performance of The Real Housewives of Auckland. The series has had a massive impact across the Bravo channel. The show has aided in a 50 per cent increase in peak viewing, and has reached more than 1.3 million New Zealanders."

A trip to Port Douglas saw tempers flare on the Real Housewives of Auckland.

The series also became the most-viewed Bravo series on the online 3Now platform, with more than half a million views.

Bravo has yet to confirm whether a second season of the Real Housewives of Auckland will go ahead.