‘Real World’ Format Twist Draws Strongest Ratings in Three Seasons

The most anticipated episode of “Real World’s” latest season arrived this week, and with it came a surge of viewers.

Wednesday night’s broadcast of MTV’s “Real World: Ex-Plosion” featured the exes of the housemates moving into the San Fran loft (a long-awaited twist), and drew 1.5 million viewers, making it the highest-rated episode of the venerable franchise in three seasons.

“Real World” ranked as the top program in its 10 p.m. timeslot across all television in women 12-34, and was the No. 2 cable series on Wednesday in viewers 12-34.

With roughly 15% growth in viewership each week since its January debut, “Real World: Ex-Plosion” is expected by the MTV brass to be the best-performing edition of the Bunim-Murray-produced program since 2011.

Insiders had speculated that, should “Real World: Ex-Plosion” not perform well in ratings, MTV would pull the plug on the program. The notable uptick in ratings with the format’s first-ever twist could mean the series — which has been on MTV’s airwaves since the early ’90s — will be renewed for new editions following the current San Francisco season. Series co-creator Jon Murray has mentioned to press that he has numerous other format twists in mind for the veteran reality program.

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