LOS ANGELES (LALATE EXCLUSIVE) – Gretchen Rossi and Tamra Barney on Real Housewives of Orange County this season have river rafted, mud run, and apologized about previous season’s wine tossing. But on Tuesday, Gretchen Rossi and Tamra Barney achieved a new height, proving they can out Dance Moms in the tv cable ratings.
Rossi, Barney, and Heather Dubro destroyed other Tuesday night cable leaders with the first part finale for the RHOC season. The show scored a slight increase of 1.97 million viewers overall, and 1.17 million viewers in the key 18-49 demographic. That put RHOC at ninth overall for the night, seventh in the demographic.
RHOC was able to beat out other competitors which had been topping Bravo in previous weeks, including Dance Moms (Lifetime). The show nearly surpassed Tuesday’s usual leader, Tosh.O (Comedy) which dropped to 2.18 million viewers, and seventh ahead of RHOC.
But how did the show compare to last year? Part one was dramatically down compared to last year’s season finale, LALATE can report. “Real Housewives of OC this season typically drew an approximate 1.5 ratings share” LALATE one year ago this month. “But the  finale in which [Jeana] Keough takes on Tamra Barney drew an unprecedented 2.88 ratings share” LALATE detailed on June 13, 2011.
Moreover, last year’s “finale drew the highest rated episode of the season and seventeen percent increase in viewership since last year.” Last season, Bravo used Jeana through several episodes leading up the finale. As detailed then, her appearance – which drawing mixed reaction among viewers – substantially increased ratings.
This season, the late introduction of Jeana, and perhaps the absence of wine being tossed, didn’t help RHOC.
But can the show reach a 2.88 rating share in next week’s finale part two? That remains to be seen, along with whether someone will finally get tossed into a swimming pool this season. As Jeana warned one notable cast member last season, “I’ll throw your skinny little [body] in the pool!”