If 'Alaskan Bush People' Is Fake, Why Are Ratings Holding Steady?

Alaskan Bush People has certainly weathered its share of drama and scandal over the last several months. The popular Discovery Channel program probably expected most of the controversy to die down with the new season. However, that has been anything but the case.

Almost a week ago, Radar blew the lid off the Browns' allegedly "wild" lifestyle. The gossip site claimed that not only were the Alaskan Bush People stars not at home in Browntown, the "Wolf Pack" routinely left their woodsy abode.

"'They are in Juneau for an extended stay,' a local insider tells Radar. 'They never stay in Hoonah for long in the summer.' Onlookers spotted Bam Bam, 31, and his two younger sisters, Rain and Bird, at the Juneau Department of Motor Vehicles earlier this week.

"In a photo of the group seen by Radar, Rain appears to be wearing an Apple Watch, a pricey accessory for a girl who claims to live in the woods."

The Inquisitr had previously theorized the Alaskan Bush People clan's trip to the capital might be linked to son Matt's rumored trip to rehab. His alleged struggle with alcohol is just one of several scandals that have materialized in recent weeks.
Despite being called out weekly for being fake, Alaskan Bush People's ratings haven't exactly taken a hit. That's right: the series' ratings have remained steady. To quote ratings site TV by the Numbers, "The Discovery Channel's Alaskan Bush People held steady, maintaining its previous 0.7."

In fact, a search of the site showed that Alaskan Bush People's ratings have held steady for the past few weeks. Why is this important? Well, because the vast majority of accusations -- from the faked reunion with a "long-lost daughter," to repeated assertions that Alaskan Bush People was never real -- occurred within the last month.

What do the steady ratings suggest? Alaskan Bush People has probably already locked in its core audience. Whoever was going to leave the show behind has probably already done so. Whatever new scandal or accusation emerges will likely not deter its loyal fan base. Fake or not, these viewers seem to be in it "for the long haul."

On its face, this is great news for Alaskan Bush People and the program's producers. It would appear the scripted nature of the show hasn't deterred fans. Neither have the controversies. And yet, this is the silver lining to a very gray cloud if you consider the other implication.

While the show has successfully held its 0.7 rating, it's not exactly an impressive showing. On some networks, that kind of result would get a series canceled -- fake or not. Yet Alaskan Bush People seems to be out of danger. There's a good possibility we might be seeing the Browns face new challenges in a future season.

Current fans will likely return -- but there doesn't seem to be any hint that the show will be growing its audience. That's bad. For a television series to thrive, it must pull in larger numbers. A steady mediocre rating is a sign that a series is gradually declining. This is something I previously predicted when asking if the show had already jumped the infamous ratings "shark."

The question was answered by a season that was more scripted than past Alaskan Bush People seasons. Everything from sweeping helicopter shots to people showing up exclusively to talk about how wonderful the Browns are. Beneath the hype is thin, repetitive material that will likely not be able to carry the Discovery Channel wilderness drama much farther.

In a way, the fraud drama was a godsend for the Discovery Channel. It gave the family something to brood about on camera all season (despite talk of jail, Billy and Bam Bam ultimately avoided prison). What comes next? Unless a game changer emerges from out of nowhere, those steady ratings will slowly begin to decline.

Some people honestly thought being fake would be the downfall of Alaskan Bush People. As things stand, it might be a deadly combination of repetition and boredom that brings about the show's demise.

What do you guys think: Can Alaskan Bush People hold onto its fans or is it destined to be canceled? Share your thoughts below!

[Image via the Discovery Channel]