'Real Housewives of New York City' Ratings Up 50%

The recent finale of The Real Housewives of New York City capped off a very successful season for Bravo's Real Housewives franchise, if the ratings would be the sole basis. The just-concluded season of the reality show had an average of 1.6 million viewers per episode, around 50 percent higher than its debut run. While it may sound miniscule by network standards, 1.6 million is higher, for instance, than AMC's critically acclaimed series Mad Men. Benefiting from this popularity, the New Jersey version of the franchise became Bravo's highest-rated preview show ever, with 1.43 million who tuned in.

"Everyone likes to judge," explained Jennifer O'Connell, executive vice president of Shed Media US, which produces the New York show, adding that the housewives are not filmed on set. They instead follow their lives out there.

"I know more really, really smart people who watch these shows who are like, 'I'm embarrassed to admit it. That wink is also something that allows a lot of people to feel like it's O.K. to watch these women," said Andy Cohen, Bravo senior vice president for original programming and development, in reference to the shots of the reactions of people which peppered the footage of the reality show.

In the season finale, the charity event finally took place, but not without a few glitches. Jill snapped at Bethenny, and we found out whether or not the two best friends would make it past the incident. Now we have to wait for the reunion to see whether there will be fireworks between Bethenny and Kelly.

Back to the finale, Jill accused the non-responsive Ramona of trying to escape from her $5,000 commitment. They both decided that Bethenny indeed crossed the line when she plastered her new Skinny Girls logo above the bar. As expected, Bethenny pounced on Jill, who already had too many things on her mind.

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