Ratings: Bravo’s ‘Real Housewives of Potomac’ Sails Off to Strong Start

Network Has Four of Week's Top 20 Reality Shows in 18-49

'Real Housewives of Potomac' Premiere Ratings
Courtesy of Bravo

Bravo’s “Real Housewives” franchise continues to hum along, with Sunday’s launch of “Real Housewives of Potomac” becoming the network’s highest-rated “Housewives” debut to date in key demos.

According to Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates for Sunday, “Real Housewives of Potomac,” which focuses on the personal and professional lives of six women living in the affluent suburb of Washington, D.C., averaged a 1.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 2.54 million viewers overall. It benefited from a strong lead-in courtesy of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” (1.9 rating in 18-49, 4.04 million), which hit season highs. Together, the shows helped make Bravo the No. 1 ad-supported cable network of the night in L+3.

The “Potomac” premiere is the top-rated of the eight editions of the “Real Housewives” to have launched over the past 10 years, eclipsing the previous high set with the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” launch in 2009. “The Real Housewives of Dallas” bows later this year on Bravo.

Overall in Live+3 rankings among adults 18-49, Bravo had four of the week’s top 20 unscripted series on television — a list topped by Fox’s “American Idol” in its second week. Joining the “Real Housewives” combo on Sunday among Bravo shows on the list were “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” on Tuesday (1.3) wseries were joined on the list by “Vanderpump Rules” on Monday (1.2).

Looking at some of the week’s top unscripted performers, the Wednesday edition of “American Idol” (3.0 in 18-49, 11.18 million viewers overall) retained 86% of both its season premiere and its week two rating of a year ago (both 3.5 in 18-49), while Thursday’s “Idol” (2.6 in 18-49, 10.09 million viewers overall) retained 81%. Through the first two weeks, the final season of “Idol” is retaining 88% of its year-ago delivery — a nice improvement over the year-ago hold of 74%.

Boosted by a larger-than-usual lift in L+3, ABC’s “The Bachelor” (2.59 in 18-49, 8.34 million viewers overall) had a strong second week — down just 4% in the demo from its Jan. 4 premiere (2.69). Compared with its second episode last year, the dating competition was up in L+3 by 7% in 18-49 (2.59 vs. 2.43) and by 4% in total viewers (8.34 million vs. 8.03 million).

“Bachelor” was the week’s No. 1 reality show among the 12-34 crowd (2.2 rating in Live+3). It was followed by “American Idol-Wednesday” (1.9), VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop” (1.9), MTV’s “Teen Mom” (1.8) and “American Idol-Thursday” (1.7).

In adults 25-54, the two editions of “Anerican Idol” finished on top (4.0 on Wednesday, 3.6 on Thursday), with “The Bachelor” third (3.0). Tying for fourth were a pair of shows airing in the same Friday 9 p.m. hour: ABC’s “Shark Tank” and Discovery’s “Gold Rush” (both 2.4).

One-time powerhouse “Duck Dynasty” on A&E settled for a No. 24 finish among unscripted series for the week in both 18-49 rating (1.1) and total viewers (2.85 million).

(Live plus-3 for Jan. 11-17, 2016)

Adults 18-49 rating
1.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 3.00
2.  American Idol-Thursday (Fox), 2.64
3.  The Bachelor (ABC), 2.59
4.  Shark Tank (ABC), 1.93
5.  Gold Rush (Discovery), 1.91
6.  Lip Sync Battle (Spike), 1.88
7.  Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo), 1.86
7.  Love and Hip Hop (VH1), 1.86
9.  Teen Mom (MTV), 1.79
10.  MasterChef Junior (Fox), 1.75
11.  Keeping Up With the Kardashians (E!), 1.69
12.  Hell’s Kitchen (Fox), 1.64
13.  The Biggest Loser (NBC), 1.42
14.  Undercover Boss (CBS), 1.29
15.  Hollywood Game Night (NBC), 1.27
16.  Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Bravo), 1.25
17.  Curse of Oak Island (History), 1.22
17.  Fixer Upper (HGTV), 1.22
19.  Real Housewives of Potomac (Bravo), 1.18
20.  Vanderpump Rules (Bravo), 1.17
20.  Bachelor Live (ABC), 1.17

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 11.18
2.  American Idol-Thursday (Fox), 10.09
3.  The Bachelor (ABC), 8.34
4.  Undercover Boss (CBS), 7.13
5.  Shark Tank (ABC), 6.94
6.  MasterChef Junior (Fox), 5.62
7.  Gold Rush (Discovery), 5.51
8.  America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC), 4.98
9.  Fixer Upper (HGTV), 4.73
10.  Hollywood Game Night (NBC), 4.71
11.  Hell’s Kitchen (Fox), 4.68
12.  The Biggest Loser (NBC), 4.56
13.  Beyond the Tank (ABC), 4.55
14.  Bachelor Live (ABC), 4.45
15.  Alaska: The Last Frontier (Discovery), 4.28
16.  Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo), 4.04
17.  Curse of Oak Island (History), 3.91
18.  Lip Sync Battle (Spike), 3.81
19.  Love and Hip Hop (VH1), 3.40
20.  Keeping Up With the Kardashians (E!), 3.29

Source: Nielsen (Each 18-49 ratings point reps about 1.27 million viewers)