Vh1 is the beneficiary of record ratings for black reality shows, most particularly for “Love and Hop Hop Atlanta,” and has gotten consistently high ratings for “Basketball Wives,” according to the Nielsen Ratings. Yet, the execs at Vh1 don’t seem happy nor grateful.
Much like the case of the famous “Blaxploitation” film era in the early 1970s where African American-themed films saved several elite studios from bankruptcy and extinction — only to have the black actors and movies cast aside rudely once the studios regained their footing — Vh1 wants to regain its Caucasian viewership at all costs.
Reality franchises “Love & Hip Hop” and “Basketball Wives” have boosted VH1′s ratings 20 percent in prime time, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It’s the network biggest gain.
Take a look at the comparisons. It’s not even close.
Yet the executives seem far from pleased.
“The goal is to bring a general market audience back into the fold in addition to servicing our African-American audience,” originals exec vp Susan Levison said earlier in 2014.
“General market” or “mainstream market” is a euphemism (or another way of saying) “white audience.” Vh1 has desperately tried to recapture this prized demographic, but with dismal results. The nearly all-white reality TV far like “LeAnn & Eddie,” “Candidly Nicole” and “Dating Naked” are bringing in paltry numbers, getting squashed by the likes of “Love and Hip Hop” franchise and “Basketball Wives.”
Only “Dating Naked,” which has featured exclusively Caucasians — save a few token blacks and hardly any Hispanics and no Asians — have averaged 758,000 viewers over the first few episodes.
Vh1 famous fired nearly all their New York executive staff in order to try to find that Great White Hope of a movie and/or reality show. “I Heart Nick Carter” debuts in September. We’ll see how that one goes for the network.