After a decade of parenting drama, Teen Mom OG is still going strong, and season 8's premiere this past week pulled gangbuster numbers. Despite the controversies, criticisms, and failed spinoffs, the Teen Mom franchise has persevered, proving the naysayers wrong as the series continues to expand and evolve.
Teen Mom OG has a devoted fanbase that has remained loyal through all of the show’s complications and cast changes, including a major switch when Bristol Palin and Cheyenne Floyd replaced Farrah Abraham last season. Cheyenne remains a cast member, but unfortunately, after only one season, Bristol declared that she was done with the show, due to feeling unhappy with how she was portrayed. She reportedly signed a contract for season 8 and had scenes that were shot and will be used on the program. However, there is no more footage to come, and Bristol’s sudden departure roused feelings of uncertainty concerning the show’s future that later proved to be unfounded.
In August 2018, MTV debuted its latest addition to its successful reality series with the show Pretty Little Mamas, later retitled to Teen Mom: Young Moms Club. It was an attempt to do something different with the franchise by changing the format from raw, unfiltered drama to a semi-scripted presentation reminiscent of The Real Housewives. Viewers recoiled from the changes, with some expressing disinterest in the rebranded show because of its lack of relatability. The premiere episodes of Pretty Little Mamas/Teen Mom: Young Moms Club pulled in 440,000 and 304,000, respectively, and those numbers would continue to dip as the series went on. The consistently low viewership for MTV, along with the bad press of the series, has effectively written off the entire venture as a bust.
Teen Mom has become one of MTV’s tentpole programs, and as MTV continues the process of rebranding itself, it will need that reliable programming to maintain steady viewership. It’s also not surprising that Teen Mom: Young Moms Club would struggle so much to retain an audience. Fans watch Teen Mom for the confrontations and to experience the gritty realities of the individuals on the show. To suddenly pull a 180° and offer something that is essentially the antithesis of everything the franchise represents was an unwise move that ultimately turned off the majority of their audience. The numbers don’t lie, and Teen Mom OG’s format has been and continues to be a winner for the network.
New episodes of Teen Mom OG air Mondays at 8pm EST on MTV.