Chelsea Houska wasn’t just another Teen Mom 2 cast member.
No, Chelsea was the most popular Teen Mom of them all, and it looks as though her departure might have been the nail in the coffin for the long-struggling franchise.
Sure, we’ve talked about plummeting Teen Mom 2 ratings and the possibility of cancelation before, but this time, the show is in greater peril than ever.
According to new report from UK tabloid The Sun, the May 4 premiere brought in just 663,000 viewers.
The following week, on May 11, just 507,000 tuned in.
That’s the largest one-week drop in franchise history, and it suggests a trend for the season that’s probably raising some serious concerns at MTV.
The premiere brought in just a fraction of the viewership that the show received in its peak years (TM2 would regularly top 3 million in its second season), and if the numbers continue to decline, it seems almost certain that this season will be the show’s last.
Both Farrah Abraham and Jenelle Evans predicted that their respective shows would be canceled after they were fired.
Obviously, that didn’t happen.
In fact, Teen Mom 2 enjoyed one of its rare ratings bumps in recent years when Jade Cline replaced Jenelle in 2019.
But the departure of Chelsea seems to have done irreparable damage to the series.
Houska quit Teen Mom 2 unexpectedly in November of last year.
The decision didn’t come as a total shock to fans, who noticed that she was becoming uncomfortable with the level of involvement that producers seemed to expect from her eldest daughter, Aubree.
But it’s one thing to talk about walking away from two salaries in the mid-six-figure range (Chelsea’s husband, Cole DeBoer was also raking in a cool $400,000 to $500,000 a season), and quite another to actually do it.
In the end, Chelsea went out on top, and while she seems to have no regrets about the decision, her former bosses probably rue the day they let her walk away.
“MTV’s Teen Mom 2 has been a big part of my life for almost 11 years. After much thought and discussion with my family and friends, Cole and I have decided that this season will be our last," Houska wrote on Instagram at the time of her resignation
“We are forever thankful to MTV and our crew, who are like family to us. We’re parting on the best of terms and will stay in touch long after this. We’re proud to have been able to share our story and are so grateful to the fans who have followed our journey from the beginning.
“Our next chapter in life will focus on developing our brand and taking things to the next level with new endeavors and expanding family businesses. Please tune into our last moments on the show and continue to follow along our journey on social media," she continued.
"We are so excited for this next phase of our lives and hope you all will be a part of it in some way!” Chelsea concluded,
In the months since she left the show, Chelsea has focused on her fashion brand and other side projects, as well as decorating the new home that she and DeBoer recently built in their native South Dakota.
It sounds like Chelsea has no reason to wander back into the world of reality television — but Teen Mom 2 might very well be doomed without her.