4/8 UPDATE: The New Atlanta did not appear in the renewal lineup Bravo released today. This series is presumed cancelled.
Last week, Bravo’s latest Atlanta-based docu-series wrapped Season 1. The New Atlanta followed the next generation of the city’s trailblazing young professionals as they struggled to achieve their dreams and find love (mostly with each other). I followed Africa, Alex, Tribble, Emily, and Vawn from the stage-setting premiere through to the final curtain call. It was a pretty bumpy ride but, I’ll admit, I was entertained throughout. Now, the question becomes, will Bravo renew The New Atlanta for a second season?
To answer this question, let’s run through some of the key factors that play into the success or failure of a Bravo reality project. The New Atlanta had some good things going for it but also fell short in some areas.
Casting. With a diverse group of hot, young(ish) people driving this show there was plenty of drama to go around. They don’t come much crazier than Alex. (Remember “Watch your back!” at the coffee shop with Africa, her argument against women’s suffrage at Vawn’s “seminar”, and then there was the stalker limo scene in the season finale…huh wah!?) Vawn, too, was definitely an interesting character to get to know. The scenes with his son were super sweet but he has some seriously confused notions about what women want. Gotta also love the casting of Emily Lipman, self-proclaimed “unicorn”–a Jewish Southern fashionista who likes four-wheeling. Africa had us rooting for her all season and, let’s face it, who doesn’t want to watch a shirtless Tribble Reese model tight jeans on TV? So, I say, Bravo hit the casting nail on the head with this crew.
Romance. One of the factors that seems to keep viewers coming back for more is when we get to watch reality TV cast-mates hit it off. I’d say The New Atlanta fell just a little bit short in this category. The leading couple from this season was, I suppose, Africa and Vawn. First they were just working together, then they hooked up, then Africa pretended she was cool with Vawn’s whole “honesty makes it ok to cheat” theory and, in the end, Vawn decides that maybe they should go away for a weekend to see if they can have something more. I’m not holding my breath for these two to make it down the altar anytime soon. Alex may be right that she’s the better match for Vawn’s unique breed of crazy. The other couple I was rooting for this season was Emily and Tribble. I was really hoping they’d end up being this show’s version of Courtney and Matt (Most Eligible Dallas)–close friends who eventually realize they have feelings for each other. No such luck, though. Maybe they’re saving that one for season 2?
Fan Following. Finally, and most importantly for its chances of renewal, let’s take a look at what kind of following The New Atlanta was able to muster. The biggest thing it had going for it was probably it’s lead-in from I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding. NeNe had solid ratings throughout her season and at least some of those viewers did seem to stick around for The New Atlanta. Bravo switched things up a bit the week of the finale airing The New Atlanta’s second-to-last episode on a Sunday night after the I Dream of NeNe wedding finale. This episode, as a result, boasted season-high viewership. However, without NeNe’s lead in, The New Atlanta’s finale episode, the following Tuesday, posted season LOW viewership numbers. We’re talking about only half the people who tuned in for Sunday night’s post-NeNe episode came back and tuned in for Tuesday’s finale. 1,137,000 down to 607,000, to be exact. OUCH. That brought the season average viewership down to a level that hasn’t meant renewal for most other Bravo one-off shows in the past. We’ve seen 4 shows get renewed so far this year for a second season: Vanderpump Rules, Married to Medicine, Newlyweds: The First Year, and Below Deck. All of them had higher ratings than The New Atlanta.
Overall, my guess is that we’ve probably seen the last of The New Atlanta. While the cast was entertaining and there was plenty of drama, the numbers speak for themselves. What do you think? Did you watch and, if so, would you like to see a second season?