Teresa Giudice is back in full swing, doing interviews, hawking a book, greeting fans, and cozying back up to Real Housewives of New Jersey mastermind, Andy Cohen.
Cohen wiped away a tear when Teresa waved goodbye, communicated with her in prison, and waited a year to kickstart a franchise that was defined by the reality felon. Bravo even allegedly kicked into the fund that saved the Giudice home from foreclosure. Was it worth it? The numbers are beginning to trickle in, and the answer thus far, is a resounding NO!
Brand equity is a phrase used in the marketing industry which describes the value of an owner utilizing a well-known brand “name,” based on the idea that the identity draws consumers in greater numbers, than to a product represented by less recognized and revered name and face. Bravo was banking on Teresa maintaining her cash-cow fire, maybe even hoping that her jailed absence would cause her fans’ hearts to grow even fonder.
The first test was Teresa’s three-part special, “Teresa Checks In.” The project was the first indication of how Giudice would go over with viewers since she began a 15-month stretch for fraud. “Real Housewives of New Jersey: Teresa Checks In,” got just 1.2 million viewers – which is far below the number that a regular episode of the New Jersey franchise attracts. Relying on the bumbling, Joe Giudice, to hang onto fans in Teresa’s absence, boosted by a few nasally phone calls, was a ratings flop.
Teresa’s first public book signing was anti-climactic, with only approximately 150 fans showing up to welcome Teresa home. In Teresa’s heyday, fans were lined up around the block to snap a pic, and collect an autograph, from their favorite table-flipper.
The local event was promoted for weeks on social media, and Teresa pushed the appearance during her first post-prison interview, on Good Morning America. The turnout was disastrous, as well as revealing.
The biggest post-prison test was Teresa’s first Bravo appearance, following her release. Bravo hyped Teresa’s recent Watch What Happens Live interview hard, spending big marketing bucks to promote her blockbuster Bravo return. Teresa was BACK, and Andy was poised and ready to help her back onto her reality throne. Unfortunately for Bravo, the interview tanked, and brought in pathetic numbers.
Part One of the special brought in 785,000 viewers, and the number dropped for Part Two, to 728,000 viewers tuning in. For the sake of comparison, a Watch What Happens Live April 2014 interview with Nene Leakes raked in the highest numbers, boasting 3.5 million viewers. Melissa Gorga’s August 2014 one-on-one appearance brought in 1,394,000 viewers, and the sit-down with Teresa’s brother, Joe Gorga, along with her husband cohort, Joe Giudice, invited 1,030,000 viewers. It appears that Bravo’s most intensely hyped interview, has proven to be a crashing clunker.
Bravo fans are revealing that they simply don’t want to support criminals. Apparently, Andy Cohen’s judgement is slowly being revealed as wildly off-base, with the underestimated moral consciences of his viewers communicating loud and clear.
Teresa’s brand equity is plummeting, and with the Real Housewives of New Jersey allegedly premiering this spring, many are wondering….will Teresa Giudice fans even show up?