Many prayers, criticisms, concerns, and even a petition or two will be answered after the upcoming season of the filthy and culturally-bereft reality series Party Down South. CMT, who airs the program, has announced that after the fifth season of the show scheduled to start on January 28th, they’re putting the series on on ice.
Despite the show being positioned as CMT’s premier franchise since it’s debut, and despite it becoming one of CMT’s biggest ratings winners over its run, the show failed to reach the popularity level of its predecessor Jersey Shore, which was organized by the same producers as Party Down South. The show also put CMT at odds with many of the once country music video station’s core, traditional viewers.
There is no official word about why CMT has decided to cancel the show. Previously, the cast has battled producers over pay disputes, and the show had to deal with the loss of one of the show’s highest-profile cast members, Taylor “Lil Bit” Wright who left after what she characterized as safety concerns. Lil Bit left in August of 2014—the day after another cast member, Ryan “Daddy” Richards was accused of rape in the Party Down South house. Charges were never brought against Richards, but numerous other cast members faced legal issues throughout the show’s run, including multiple drunk driving charges, burglary, bench warrants, and a felony child support violation.
CMT and Party Down South faced stiff criticism for the show’s content from viewers who were concerned the show painted negative cultural stereotypes of Southerners, and shouldn’t be on the same network once known for family entertainment. As bad as the show was, it could be avoided by viewers. However, as CMT’s flagship franchise, the network was flooded with promos for the show that in many cases were just as inappropriate as the show itself. CMT’s social network feeds were also regularly bombarded with raunchy material to promote upcoming shows.
Former Congressman and actor from the show The Dukes of Hazzard, Ben “Cooter” Jones, wrote an open letter to CMT, begging the network to not show the promos during family friendly programming. Some of the locations Party Down South looked to film the series in moved to block the show from the city limits. Pensacola successfully avoided the show taping in the town. The show them moved to Athens, GA, where some locals attempted to petition to have the show removed, fearing it would portray residents negatively.
CMT launched a second show called Party Down South 2 in November of 2014, doubling down on the reality show concept as being the future of the network, but it appears the spinoff won’t be back either. Two of the cast members, Raven and Bradley, have since had a baby together, and said they would not be returning to the show.
Viewers who were hoping for the show’s cancellation shouldn’t celebrate just yet, while fans of the controversial series will still have plenty of options on CMT. The network’s “docu-series” Gainesville may not be as salacious as Party Down South, but it’s close. Meanwhile CMT offers many other “redneck” reality show franchises for viewers to watch that reinforce stereotypical Southern behavior.