‘Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’ Destroys ‘Real Housewives’ in Viewership

It is the show that launched a thousand head-shaking sighs of exasperation, but the one thing that “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” also did was attract viewers. Millions of them.

In fact, last week’s season finale of the show lured more viewers than any episode of “Real Housewives of Atlanta”—it had 4.4 million viewers for the first showing, then another 2.18 million viewers for the repeat that followed.

The season average of “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” was 3.3 million, compared to the best season average of 2.9 million for “Real Housewives of Atlanta” in season three.

What does all of this mean?

First of all, it means that this train wreck of a show is not going anywhere anytime soon. And it means that Stevie J, Joseline, K. Michelle, Lil Scrappy and the rest of the crew are about to get a real big pay raise—though there are reports that Rasheeda might get cut for being too boring and Scrappy’s mother, Mama Dee the former pimp, might be cut for being a bad representation of black women. Apparently the producers believe that Dee is the problem.

At Atlanta Black Star, we reacted with shock and horror over the crudeness of the “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” Reunion Show, which we called the lowest, ugliest, most sickening moment in black television history.

On the show, singer K. Michelle invoked the name of one of the proudest, most heroic figures in African-American history to belittle another cast member that she said looked old.

“I’m tired of these old ass, Harriet Tubman bitches,” Michelle announced to the audience.

We wrote that the line was shocking in its ignorance—first, believing that she would be insulting another black woman by calling her Harriet Tubman; second, by using Harriet Tubman’s name in describing a woman that she is trying to call old and ugly, Michelle has reduced a woman who is legendary for her courage and perseverance to a superficial representation of female unattractiveness. It’s the kind of line that should reduce a parent to tears were you ever to hear it coming from your child’s lips, because it would show you that you have failed your child in so many ways.

The show started out in June with a modest 1.9 million viewers, but because it reached levels of ridiculousness seldom seen on national television it quickly became a cultural phenomenon—the show that people couldn’t wait to dissect with friends and co-workers at the water cooler. People were fascinated that grown folks would purposely behave in such a manner, use such language, but people couldn’t stop watching, no more than they could stop staring at the car wreck on the side of the road.

The “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” finale was the most popular show of the night among 18- to 49-year-olds on all TV networks across the dial. That means it was clearly being watched by a lot of people who aren’t black.

And the viewers stuck around the watch the season two debut of another Atlanta-based reality show “T.I. & Tiny,” following the trials and travails of rapper T.I. and his wife and brood of kids. That show drew 4.15 million viewers and was the second most popular show of the night among 18- to 49-year-olds. The second half-hour of the show brought in 3.99 million viewers.


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