Call it the revenge of the Carolina Hurricane.
When Jenelle Evans was fired from Teen Mom 2, producers were likely aware of the risk involved.
After all, Evans had long been the show's primary source of drama, and whether they loved her or hated her, many viewers were no doubt tuning in just to see what sort of appalling behavior she would engage in this week.
Farrah Abraham was the equivalent figure on Teen Mom OG, and when Farrah got fired, the show's ratings declined rapidly.
So it came as little surprise when the absence of Jenelle resulted in Teen Mom 2's least-watched season to date.
Still, producers did their best to minimize the damage -- new cast member Jade Cline was meant to fill the Jenelle-sized gap in the series --and they were likely a bit taken aback when their efforts proved ineffective, and viewers continued to jump ship.
The show's September 10 season premiere pulled in 810,000 viewers, and that number held steady for the five weeks that followed.
However, recent episodes have seen a sharp decline in ratings, and if this trend continues, the future of the show could be left in question.
The two most recent episodes were watched by just 692,000 and 665,000 viewers, respectively.
For reference, the show averaged well over 1 million viewers per episode at its peak.
Of course, there are several factors to consider here.
For one thing, Teen Mom 2 has been on the air for nearly a decade.
The absence of Jenelle is just one reason why the show is less popular than it used to be, and ratings were beginning to dip even before she was fired.
It's extremely rare for a reality show to not show signs of age and flag a bit in the ratings so deep into its run.
On top of that, you'd be hard-pressed to find a show that's strayed so far from its original premise as Teen Mom 2.
The original intention of the show was to document the experiences of young, struggling mothers who were blindsided by teen pregnancy.
Now, TM2 is a series about a group of rich and famous twentysomething moms who grapple with not-so-relatable struggles like unflattering tabloid headlines.
For many fans, Kailyn Lowry's recent month-long vacation in Hawaii was something of a shark-jump moment that served to remind fans just how much the show has changed since its debut.
And as much as the outlook for TM2 might seem grim, it appears that Kail and company are in for at least another year or two of MTV-funded vacays.
As the folks at Starcasm point out, the show is still performing well in the all-important 18-49 demo.
It was the sixth place cable show in that department last Tuesday night and the third most-valuable non-sports telecast.
The site points out that Teen Mom 2 even beat out Counting On among younger viewers, even though the Duggars pulled in nearly twice as many viewers.
Clearly, the solution for all parties is a Jenelle-Duggars crossover spinoff. Her name starts with a "J" and everything!
We kid, of course.
But in all seriousness, despite the sunny demographic outlook, it's not hard to see why MTV execs might be growing concerned -- or why those rumors about Jenelle returning to Teen Mom 2 might have some basis in reality.