February 08, 2012 4:24pm PT by Jethro Nededog
'Real Housewives of Miami' Renewed for Season 2; Show Gets Makeover (Exclusive)
Bravo has always been cagey about the future of its much-criticized The Real Housewives of Miami series. But, the network never officially canceled the series like the The Real Housewives of DC, which was also met with mixed results from viewers. But, the Miami Housewives are definitely poised for a comeback.
The Hollywood Reporter's sources with knowledge of the project tell us that Bravo has renewed the series for a second season and plans to give it a relaunch worthy of the other series in the franchise. The network will officially announce the renewal and returning cast members very soon, but will hold out on naming new additions at this point. Shooting is expected to begin soon.
This time around, it’s counting on the hit magic of Matt Anderson and Nate Green’s production company Purveyors of Pop, who are behind the successful Bethenny Ever After and have served as executive producers and showrunners on past seasons of the Atlanta, New Jersey, and New York Real Housewives installments.
The Real Housewives of Miami never enjoyed the ratings success a series in the estimated half-billion dollar franchise usually garners for Bravo. Its first season premiered in February of last year and spanned only seven episodes (including a reunion special that attracted a little more than 700,000 viewers) and averaged 1.09 million viewers per episode.
In contrast, last year’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 3 finale scored 4.4 million total viewers and remains the highest rated episode of the entire franchise. That season also averaged 3.5 million viewers an episode – almost three times the viewership for Miami.
For several reasons, the Miami series seemed marked for death from the very beginning. First, it was intended to be a series called Miami Social (which itself was a relaunch of the network’s low rated 2009 series Miami Social Club). With a desire to expand on its successful franchise, Bravo decided to repackage the already-shot footage into a Real Housewives series.
The network also officially announced the new series last February along with the news that the much-anticipated fourth season of The Real Housewives of New York would be pushed from February to April. So what ended up as an attempt to bury that news in Miami’s press release blew up into speculation that there was trouble with the NYC production and that eclipsed the Miami announcement. Also as a result, many fans seemed put off by the apparent bait and switch and may have never given the Miami Housewives a chance.
A source close to the first season’s production tells THR that Bravo took over the post-production from L.A.-based production company, McFilmworks. A rep for the company tells THR "McFilmworks was responsible for 'Real Housewives of Miami' from concept to final delivery of season 1. McFilmworks was not let go from the production nor did Bravo take control of post-production. McFilmworks timely delivered the first season of the show."
While it may seem like a risk for the network, timing seems ripe to revisit Miami. The franchise is enjoying an upswing in popularity with the media coverage around The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and record ratings for Atlanta. Also, Tuesday's seventh season return of the Orange County series attracted 2.3 million viewers, a 10% increase among total viewers compared to the previous season premiere.
Bravo did not immediately respond to THR's request for official comment.
Update: Purveyors of Pop's role on Real Housewives has been clarified and a statement from Season 1's production company was added. Bravo officially announced the renewal and returning cast members on Thursday. Read it here.
Do you think the network will get it right the second time around? Tell us in the comments section below.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro