Alaskan Bush People star Billy Brown has his offspring taking charge of things on Northstar Ranch this season. While the show changed drastically since its first season, viewers continue to return to watch Billy Brown and his ABP wolfpack.
In its glory days, the show boasted nearly 5 million viewers. But, those days are long gone. However, despite lower ratings, Alaskan Bush People still holds its own in Wednesday night ratings. Yet, reports indicate Billy Brown struggled in the past to keep the show going.
Alaskan Bush People: Billy Brown Built It And Viewers Came
Since the debut of the Alaskan Bush People in 2014, fans watched as Billy Brown erected his off-grid homestead in the Alaska bush. For six years, the Browns constructed new shelters and improved existing lean-to dwellings as the cameras rolled.
The Discovery Channel presented them as a family raised and still living in the wilderness. Alaskan Bush People cast consist of a dad, Billy Brown, a mom, Ami Brown, five sons, and two daughters.
The Alaskan Bush People series showed Billy’s family working hard to keep safe and warm against the elements of nature. Billy Brown and his family didn’t eat unless they found the food or hunted it down. Or so the Discovery Channel told viewers.
The show portrayed Billy and his children as a family doing it all on their own without running water, electricity, or a heating source other than fire. So, the interest in this family grew as people saw them as a modern-day Robinson Crusoe story.
Fans Flocked To Wilderness Family – Ratings Soared
Back then, Alaskan Bush People ratings went through the roof. They captured enough viewers to make them number one across all television shows on many Friday nights in 2015-2016. At their best, they hovered just under 5 million total viewers.
Alaskan Bush People originally aired Friday nights at 9 pm. But after a few years of solid ratings, viewership fell off. ABP ratings slowly inched downward in viewer numbers. And, fans realizing the family only lived wild part-time affected their numbers.
Yet, many viewers kept watching, despite rumors of scripted scenes and frauding. No doubt, watchers found Billy Brown’s pack interesting and entertaining. In fact, reports indicate Browntown was built for filming and was never their permanent residence. Now, the show continues on Wednesday nights.
Alaskan Bush People: By the Numbers
Even while rumors of fakery persisted, viewers tuned in regularly. Back in 2018, season eight’s debut drew 3.4 million viewers. ABP Season 8’s premiere even beat out Keeping Up with the Kardashians airing the same night.
While numbers are down from ABP‘s heyday of near 5 million viewers, it was impressive. Family tragedy among Billy Brown’s tribe helped. For instance, Ami Brown’s lung cancer battle with Alaskan Bush People cameras rolling kept fans watching.
Then, season nine rolled out, but with a drastic drop to just 1.8 million viewers. In one season, the wolfpack lost more than half of their viewers. The ratings drop coincided with Billy Brown and family moving from Alaska to Washington, reportedly for Ami’s health issues.
The bottom line was they weren’t Alaskan Bush People anymore.
Billy Brown’s Family Battles to Stay on the Air
Next, season 10 debuted with 2.2 million watching. But the following week, more viewers jumped ship and only 1.7 million tuned in to see the Billy Brown alongside his family. Then, Alaskan Bush People Season 11 switched nights to Wednesday. There, they dipped to 1.5 million viewers on January 1, 2020.
That’s far from the impressive numbers they captured in their earlier seasons. And, they ranked 17 out of 50 top shows on Wednesday’s New Years’ primetime run. By January 15, 2020, they rebounded to 1.8 million views.
That put the Alaskan Bush People at number 4 for the night. While it’s nowhere near their best ratings at their debut, it’s not so bad considering how long the shows’s been on the air and that it’s basic cable – not a major network.
So, tune in on Wednesday nights at Discovery Channel for new episodes to keep it going – possibly to future seasons.
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