I guess the real estate market in Tampa, Fla. wasn’t as exciting as Netflix thought it would be. Almost a year after it debuted, the streaming network has finally made a decision on Selling Tampa and it’s not good news. Page Six is reporting that the series has been canceled and one of its cast members is saying race played a role in the show’s end.
As part of Netflix’s popular Selling franchise, Selling Tampa followed Sharelle Rosado and her team at Allure Realty. What set the show apart from all the other series in the genre is that its cast was made up of Black women. As groundbreaking as it was to prominently feature women of color, cast member Juawana Colbert feels race played a role in the series’ cancellation.
“When they show us [black women] in a different light—when we’re bickering, fighting and name-calling—they get a Season 2 and Season 3, but that’s not what we were displaying,” Colbert told Page Six.
You don’t have to work too hard to guess that she’s referring to Bravo’s extremely successful Real Housewives franchise. And yes, it’s probably true that reality producers want to present Black women a certain way to boost ratings, but that’s how reality TV works as a whole. Shows are always edited to hype up the drama.
The decision to cancel the show was reportedly made based on ratings, with Colbert describing how Selling franchise creator Adam DiVello gathered the cast on a Zoom call to deliver the bad news.
“Adam specifically said [the decision] was related to numbers but never gave any additional information,” Colbert said. “I don’t know if he was talking about rating numbers or budget numbers. He just said numbers.”
Most streaming services are notoriously secretive about specific viewing numbers, so even if the show had a big debut, we don’t know how the show did throughout the year. A source told Page Six that the cast weren’t given any updates on a possible Season 2 for an entire year. Realistically speaking, this should have been a clue for everyone involved that the show wasn’t returning, as reality series are filmed well in advance and are in a constant state of production.
Honestly, Selling Tampa didn’t have the same draw as other shows in the genre, but that doesn’t mean race wasn’t a factor in its cancellation. Real estate reality shows are very white, so it’s past time for us to get more Black people involved both in front of and behind the camera. More diversity will lead to more authentic series, which will lead to better ratings and longevity.