Reality Bits: Bachelor in Paradise is Back On, Southern Charm Savannah Lacks Charm

Bachelor in Paradise is back on!


Regular readers of this blog (hi Dad!) will know that last week I covered the Bachelor in Paradise alleged sex scandal and opined that ABC would likely shelf the show regardless of what actually happened. Well color me naive. Per the New York Times

In a surprising twist, the latest season of ABC’s “Bachelor in Paradise” is to resume taping after an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct did not turn up evidence of wrongdoing, according to Warner Bros., the studio behind the show. […]

In a statement, ABC said, “We appreciate the swift and complete investigation by Warner Bros. into allegations of misconduct on the set of ‘Bachelor in Paradise.’”

It continued, “Given their results, the series will resume production, and will air this summer on ABC.”

Production was to resume immediately, though it was not clear whether the two cast members at the center of the allegations would return. It was also unclear whether the two-week brouhaha is to be a plot point in the upcoming season.

I would hypothesize on whether the drama would be included, but clearly I overestimated the capacity for shame in these shameless times!

Charmless Southern Charm Savannah

Yesterday, Bravo’s Charleston-set Southern Charm shot their reunion show with Andy Cohen in NYC. The show, produced by Haymaker, has been going strong for four seasons now and has a deep and committed fan base.

NOT SUCH A SPOILER ALERT: ~Nothing interesting happened.~

What sets Southern Charm apart from the usual Bravo fare is that it features a strong cast of male characters, and while network and cable audience numbers are dropping overall, content aimed at male viewers continues to rate. Talk to any development exec in New York, LA, or even Toronto, and they’ll tell you that male-skewing content is the only thing broadcasters are looking for these days.


Hence the seemingly endless supply of shows set in Alaska, competition shows (oddly,  America’s Got Talent is popular among the testosterone set), and those featuring men doing things like building a motorbike, or a treehouse, or some other macho shit.

Bravo believes that by making their logo more “masculine” (as discussed previously) and featuring more straight male characters, they will somehow lure that audience to their channel. This, one assumes, might be the reason they greenlit Southern Charm Savannah, and –woohoo, y’all– Southern Charm New Orleans is also coming down the pike.


This strikes me as the typical muddleheaded thinking entertained by terrified broadcast executives who would rather close their eyes very tightly and hum “I’m a Little Teapot” for hours on end, than acknowledge the inevitable death of broadcast television bearing down on them like a 50-ton truck.

Firstly, while Southern Charm features more male characters than your average Bravo screamfest, I’m going to go ahead and guess that the shows audience remains women and gay men (who have become “deplorable” I guess, with the shift in TV audiences). A docusoap is about diffusing emotional upsets, not defusing a bomb. Move along – not a lot of cis- het- machismo to see here.

Secondly, the attempt Bravo is making to capitalize on the success of Southern Charm by launching the spinoff set in Savannah is off to a shaky start, with at least two Executive Producers being fired (or strongly encouraged to piss off) and abysmal audience numbers.

Maybe third time will be a Charm in N’awlins, but unless Bravo finds some power-tool wielding Cajuns, I’m skeptical.

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