When Chelsea Houska’s HGTV series premiered, it looked like network execs had a new breakout star on their hands.
Down Home Fab debuted to massive ratings, and in a relative rarity, the show’s viewership increased in its second week on the air.
HGTV promptly signed Chelsea and husband Cole DeBoer for a second season, and it looked as though the couple had ample reason to be optimistic about their new career.
In recent weeks, however, the DeBoer’s future has come to seem a little less certain.
At just six episodes, the first season of Down Home Fab was a rather brief one (the show will run for eight episodes when it returns in 2024).
So HGTV honchos are likely more than a little concerned by the fact that a significant erosion in viewership has already taken place.
According to a new report from UK tabloid The Sun, the upward trend of the show’s first two episodes completely reversed on itself for the final two installments of the season.
The series reached its peak around midseason, with the third episode pulling in a whopping 878,000 viewers, making it one of the most successful HGTV series of the year.
Sadly, it was all downhill from there.
Episode four saw a major decline in viewership, bringing in only about 700,000 viewers.
Interestingly, that’s roughly the same amount by which viewership increased between the show’s first and second episodes.
Down Home Fab is still putting up decent numbers, but the current ratings trajectory is cause for concern.
Not only that, the season finale resulted in Chelsea receiving some of the harshest criticism of her career.
It seems viewers were not thrilled with the designs she provided for new clients Ryan and Beth during the episode.
“I’d probably ask for a refund,” one viewer wrote on Reddit.
“Those shutters or whatever they’re called on the exterior look unfinished. I hate it!” another added.
“I’m no expert but this is awful? The white cabinets brightened up the kitchen and now it seems smaller and darker,” a third chimed in.
“The only semi-okay thing was the aluminum tub shelves in the bathroom,” a fourth person ranted, adding:
“I have no style, and even I can see that this is horrific.”
It’s a little weird to admit that you have no style and then criticize someone else’s style choices, but such is the state of online discourse in 2023.
Anyway, Chelsea and Cole will probably be fine, but they might have to fight a little harder than expected to ensure their show’s future.
The home reno game is not for the faint of heart!