Was Bentley Good for Ratings?
Say what you will about Bentley, the man knows how to attract an audience. With his swagger, charisma, and no-nonsense banter, Bentley has made this season of the Bachelorette one of the most interesting of all time. Perhaps the most remarkable thing is the extent of his impact on the show in such a short amount of time. The focus on Bentley has angered many and drawn viewers’ ire against producers. It has been implied that Bentley must be so good for Bachelorette ratings as to be well worth “messing with Ashley’s [and viewers’] head” while exploiting poor Bentley. Why else would the producers have spent so much effort editing his commentary, showing statements he made out of context, and demonizing him to viewers? But what is Bentley’s actual impact on the show.
To find out, we gathered TV ratings from Zap2It for the show and compiled them into a graph. The graph covers the last four weeks of the show including Bentley’s departure (episode 3), The Bentley Hangover where Ashley talked about him incessantly (episode 4), Bentley’s full absence from the show (episode 5), and King Bentley’s triumphant return (episode 6). As you can plainly see, Bentley’s full absence constituted the show’s nadir during the period [despite the shameless attempt to attract viewers with shirtless Bachelorette contestants engaged in Muay Thai fighting for Ashley’s affection]. Moreover, we see a massive spike in viewers when he returns to the show. That’s right; Bentley’s 5 minutes back on camera led to an increase of roughly half a million viewers. That’s an extra 100,000 viewers for every minute on the show. Are you listening ABC and Chris Harrison? Do you really think nice guys JP or Ben F. can generate that kind of viewer interest? It’s an understatement to say that “Bentley is good for ratings.” Bentley is ratings!