About an hour after Bravo released the ratings for the Season 10 finale of “Vanderpump Rules” on Tuesday, producers Lisa Vanderpump and Alex Baskin were in Hollywood campaigning for Emmy consideration at an FYC event.
The finale scored big, ending on a series-high with a combined audience of 4.1 million viewers on Bravo, on-demand and the Peacock platform within three days of its May 17 airing.
No doubt interest in the show skyrocketed because of #Scandoval, the drama stemming from Tom Sandoval cheating on his girlfriend of a decade, Ariana Madix, with her best friend, Raquel Leviss.
“There’s the producer part of you that loves some of the drama,” Vanderpump told me. “I would be lying if I didn’t say that you love the fact that the story keeps going. But you also have to understand I’m so emotionally invested in these young people.”
Baskin said he “smiled” when he first learned of the ratings, but added, “It’s hard. There’s a human cost, not just a joyous celebration where we can send a note out to the cast and celebrate how well we’re doing.”
Asked if she hopes the ratings jump will help secure some Emmys love, Vanderpump said, “I don’t like to think of it like that at all because it’s still still a very painful experience. But it’s been an extraordinary series over the years, it has had many highs and so many lows, but we’ve stuck with it.”
#Scandoval also means added pressure for an even bigger Season 11. “I already thought we made a really good season and then this happened,” Baskin said. “You never know. Whenever I’m asked, ‘Where are you going with next season?’ I always say, ‘I don’t know.’ That’s all going to have to emerge. And one of the challenges of this genre in particular is we have far less control than anyone would like to prescribe to us.”
I also asked Vanderpump and Baskin to cast a hypothetical #Scandoval movie. Vanderpump said she’d like to be portrayed by someone much younger and skinnier than herself before, offering Catherine Zeta Jones the role. When Baskin cracked that she could be played by Dame Judi Dench, Vanderpump quipped they’d have to dig someone out of grave to get Baskin’s likeness.
Baskin suggested Jennifer Lawrence for Madix and maybe Julia Garner for Leviss. As for Sandoval, Baskin said, “Ryan Gosling’s not bad. My pitch for the movie is that the most compelling stories are the real ones.”