Made In Chelsea

Made In Chelsea

Made In Chelsea is back, bringing its horrifically privileged, spoiled and attractive cast of characters back to E4 tonight.

After the launch of The Valleys a couple of weeks ago, and TOWIE’s return in September, Made In Chelsea raises its head again to complete the ‘reality’ show trio and doom us all to perma-tan overload before Geordie Shore absolutely sinks the boat and starts about the apocalypse that will end humanity as we know it.

While the diehard fans of the show will try and cling on to their favourite bit of ridiculous escapism, the balloon that built up around the success of The Only Way Is Essex is losing air at a drastic rate.

After it took home the audience award BAFTA in May of last year, the popularity of the show boomed, with it at its peak in the third series attracting a massive 2.22 million viewers to ITV2.

Seeing the success, executives absolutely rushed to get similar shows out on the airwaves, with E4 commissioning Made In Chelsea shortly after and MTV hustling out a UK version of its smash hit Jersey Shore and now the Cardiff based The Valleys.

Since then though, it’s only been down of TOWIE, with the latest premier only getting just over a million viewers and the following episodes coming nowhere near that figure. To put that into context, Celebrity Juice, which is the channel’s biggest gun nowadays regularly gets in around 1.2 million viewers each week.

While Made In Chelsea has actually seen a gain in viewers over the show’s three series, it still doesn’t have the ratings the TOWIE does currently, with the third series hitting a peak of just over a million viewers for the penultimate episode and averaging out at about 800,000 regular watchers. For E4 execs though, that’s fantastic news, as it has now grown to be one of the show’s highest rated shows.

While the ratings drop for TOWIE and the massive backlash towards The Valleys may put off some executives, the Made In Chelsea crowd are quite happy to define themselves as the ‘classy’ side of the coin.

It’s a stance that might actually see them as the only franchise to stand after the dust falls, as the glossy camera work and ridiculously aspirational tone of the show speak to something different than the simply mean, vindictive and cruel nature of TOWIE and Geordie Shore.

The show has also grown decidedly before its new series tonight, with a whole five new cast members being roped in to the mix. With the show even being exported over to the US, the show’s focus on the decadently rich may just be the key to seeing it through this new era of austerity towards reality shows.

While the knives might be coming out for scripted reality shows, the Chelsea toffs might just be able to jet off to St Tropez and escape most of the hate.

Made In Chelsea returns tonight on E4.

FemaleFirst Cameron Smith