The season 6 premiere turned in just over 2 million viewers - about the same as when the series premiered in 2009 and all of the ladies were unknowns.
Worse, RHONJ's numbers in the key 18-49 year old demographic were lower than they've ever been.
"Bravo was worried about 'The Teresa Troubles,'" says a production insider. "It could have given them huge ratings or hurt them. In the end, it obviously hurt them."
The baffling part is that the episode couldn't have been more chock-full of drama.
In addition to the threat of prison hanging over Joe and Teresa's heads, there was a heart-wrenching scene in which 12-year-old Gia Giudice reveals that she's aware of her parents struggles and even a tribute to Frank Giudice - Joe's father who died suddenly just last month.
If all of that can't pique the interest of potential viewers, it may mean that it'll soon be splitsville for Bravo and the Housewives of New Jersey.