Season 9 of Vanderpump Rules kicked off last Tuesday night, and despite fan anticipation for the show’s return after a long hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ratings left plenty to be desired.
An argument could be made that the ratings drop came due to that hiatus. However, it’s seeming more likely that the hit has to do with the exit of some fan-favorite VPR stars. The massive cast shake-up has left a visible gap, and while certain co-stars feel that this is a move in the right direction, the low audience number suggests otherwise.
So, just how many people tuned in for the Season 9 premiere?
Vanderpump Rules Season 9 premiered with low ratings
Vanderpump Rules Season 9 managed to pull in a mere 637,000 viewers last Tuesday according to Spoiler TV. Of those viewers, only 0.21 of the key demographic of those aged 18-49 tuned into the drama.
In contrast, the Season 8 premiere brought in a whopping 1.272 million viewers and scored an impressive 0.5 of the key demographic audience according to TV Deets.
Comparing those Season 8 numbers to that of the current season and it becomes clear that ratings have dropped by almost half.
Have the cast exits impacted Season 9 Vanderpump Rules ratings?
Vanderpump Rules has been a hit for Bravo since its inception. However, with key players being removed from the show, it’s not all that surprising that ratings have taken a hit.
Last year it was announced that Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens, and Brett Caprioni were let go from their VPR contracts after allegations of racism against former co-star Faith Stowers came to light. Naturally, that left many long-term fans devastated.
And the news continued to get worse. In December, one of Vanderpump Rules’ most polarizing personalities, Jax Taylor, announced that he and his wife, Brittany Cartwright, also wouldn’t be returning for Season 9. At the time, the rumor was that Jax had been fired following his own problematic, and possibly racist, behavior. However, he has maintained that the couple chose to exit on their own.
The exits of such major stars came as a shock to many — including some of the Vanderpump Rules cast. Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval revealed that they learned of Brittany and Jax’s departure just like everyone else.
While appearing on E! News Daily Pop, Ariana shared, “We were actually about to go live on Instagram to talk about Gardenuity and our collab and we saw it about 30 seconds before.”
“And we still don’t know a whole lot more than just that Instagram caption from what they posted,” she continued.
However, the cast isn’t pessimistic and feels that the show has plenty to still offer audiences. Tom shared that because there aren’t so many cast members to keep track of, fans have the opportunity to get to know the Vanderpump Rules cast more intimately.
“When you go from having, like, 20 something castmates to basically 12, it’s an adjustment, but I think it’s good because we have the time, we can go a little bit deeper with each person versus having to kind of skate on the surface,” he shared.
So, while the initial numbers are more than a little disappointing, there may still be hope for the season yet. There’s still plenty to come.
Vanderpump Rules airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.