Yes, someone’s going to jail like on a certain other Real Housewives show, but that didn’t stop the Season 7 debut of The Real Housewives Of Atlanta from breaking out Sunday night to deliver Bravo’s highest-rated season premiere in the network’s more than 30-year history. With bad boys on the brain, the high-maintenance and high-intensity series returned to 3.8 million viewers and 2.2 million adults 18-49.
Not only is that up 23% and 24% in terms of total viewers and the demo, respectively, over the Season 6 debut on November 3, 2013, it also pushed Bravo to the top spot among all cable channels for the 8 PM time slot. The debut also shattered a demo record (2.02 million) held by the Season 3 debut of The Real Housewives Of New Jersey back on May 16, 2011 — aka way before Teresa Giudice and hubby Joe got their jail time.
Proving again what a winner the Real Housewives franchise is for Bravo, the previous overall viewership debut record was held by the Season 5 Atlanta premiere. That October 28, 2012, show from the third RH series — after Orange County and New York — drew 3.23 million viewers. Sunday’s RHOA S7 debut was followed, as these things often are, by Watch What Happens Live, which pulled in 2.6 million viewers overall and 1.4 million in the key demo. That’s the best WWHL has done total viewership-wise since July 6.