‘RHOA’ to add transgender to cast to jump-start ratings after NeNe says goodbye
There is no bigger media star in 2015 than Caitlyn Jenner, aka the latest Kardashian ratings seeker. The transformation of Bruce Jenner, Kim Kardashian’s soft-spoken stepfather, to heroic transgender LGBTQ spokeswoman, has equated to major bucks for ABC, E! and ESPN. BRAVO hopes to be the next network to jump on the transgender bandwagon headed toward high Nielsen ratings.
BRAVO’s defining franchise “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” is its most popular series. Every year, Atlanta is abuzz with casting directors attempting to find the next big personality to join the show. It’s doubtful there are three socialites with a surgically enhanced waist, a Birkin bag and a pair of Loubitins who hasn’t done a screen test for the show. Still, producers are always seeking that larger-than-life personality that will blow the roof off last season’s numbers. Enter season eight contender, Amiyah Scott.
The self-proclaimed unicorn with an invisible horn is an African American transgender female who has been a social media starlet for years. Unlike Caitlyn, who spent the lion’s-share of her best years struggling with her truth, Scott is out and has been out for years. Out and proud. Out and outspoken. Out and absolutely, unequivocally drop-dead gorgeous.
Miss Caitlyn, we may have a contender. If today’s viewer requires more scandal than the season or network of choice before, Scott may just be BRAVO’s answer to viewers’ fascination with Caitlyn Jenner. Unlike Caitlyn, Scott is comfortable in her skin, every shapely curve by the way, and she is unapologetic about her lifestyle. Audiences will get the chance to feast on rumors of alleged affairs with heterosexual men of note while enjoying a fashion show that even fashion maven Marlo Hampton would applaud. Yes, if Caitlyn broke the networks, Scott should most definitely shock the airwaves. It remains to be seen whether BRAVO’s audience will be as receptive to the addition to the cast as E!s were.
BRAVO’s median age viewer is 42 years old with an annual household income of $60,000 per year, while E!’s median viewer is almost ten years younger at 34 years old with a median income of $75,000 annually. It’s not rocket science to conclude E! Is working with a more liberal viewer. Even competing networks such as VH1 have introduced extreme topics to a receptive audience. BET has a viewership parallel to BRAVO’s demographic, but their programming tends to land on the less salacious side of the storyline.
Only time will tell if BRAVO’s risk will be worth the reward and yield Kardashian-esque results. In the entertainment world of monkey see, monkey do … we’re banking on the unicorn.