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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills boasted the franchise’s biggest series premiere ever, with 1.5 million viewers during its Thursday broadcast on Oct. 14, 2010 at 9 p.m. The ratings dipped in its second week, however, falling to 1.4 million.
Airing its Season 2 premiere on Monday, Sept. 5, RHOBH pulled in 2.2 million viewers, a 42% overall increase from last fall. According to Nielsen Media Research, 1.5 million of those viewers fell in the key 18-49 demographic, a 51% increase from the Season 1 premiere.
The series received significant publicity just a few weeks before its Labor Day premiere when cast member Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of Taylor Armstrong, committed suicide. After much speculation surrounding the future of Season 2 and the franchise as a whole, Bravo opted to continue on schedule while making several last minute edits.
“We decided to make some adjustments where appropriate in a lot of the circumstances. Our goal has always been to make an honest and accurate story about the ladies and what goes on in their life and we wanted to be and we always are respectful and responsible. In this case trying to be very appropriate to the situation,” executive producer Douglas Ross said during an interview on the Today show.
“In the first few episodes that we’ve completed editing, Russell is not included in those episodes,” Ross explained. “But it is important to note that Taylor’s story is told throughout the season.”
RHOBH reaped the benefits of a cast with recognizable names and faces during its debut season, as opposed to the relative no-names involved in previous installments, which include Orange County, New York City and Atlanta. This season, Eddie Cibrian‘s ex-wife, Brandi Gianville, joins the cast as an unofficial housewife, along with Beverly Hills party planner Dana Wilkey.
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