New York’s Mob Wives reality show franchise was extended to include a spin-off out of Chicago that only lasted one season.
The cast and a spokesperson for VH1 confirm that Mob Wives Chicago will not return for a second season.
The spokesperson and the show’s producers would not offer specifics when questioned by the Chicago Sun-Times. However, VH1 did suggest to the cast why their show didn’t even make it to the reunion. In short, it was bad. That is… the ratings and reaction to the show were bad. People didn’t like it, were confused and bored by it, the “ties to organized crime are tenuous compared to the Staten Island cast,” and people stopped watching. The Chicago version only earned around 500,000 viewers per episode whereas New York proper earned approximately two million viewers per episode.
Pia Rizza, daughter of Vince Rizza who was involved in The Chicago Outfit crime syndicate (the Mafia or Mob for the area), reacted to the cancellation. “It’s just sad,” she said. “It had so much potential.” The single mother who secured an endorsement deal with Cold Steel Vodka through the show continues, “I guess I have to go back to work… Where that’s going to go I have no idea because I don’t have the show.”
Rizza blames the scheduling for the ratings of the show that aired 11 episodes June through August, “It was a terrible time to be aired at Sunday nights in the summer,” she said, referring to The London 2012 Olympics.
Cast mate Leah DeSimone, daughter of supposed mafia “associate” Wolf DeSimone, blamed VH1′s marketing: “I don’t feel we were advertised enough. Season two would have brought a lot more ratings than season one. We didn’t film a reunion, but I can assure you it would have been very juicy.”
DeSimone also says producers stopped returning her calls when the ratings started to tank: “[VH1] said don’t go anywhere the first two weeks of August [suggesting there would be a reunion]. I missed a wedding out of town because I thought there was going to be a reunion. How fair was that to my family? Week one passed. Week two. No one returned my calls.” VH1 eventually phoned in October to say the show was cancelled, one reason being an “accent barrier.” Although DeSimone says, “I don’t know if they meant it was hard to understand us?”
Do they regret doing the show? DeSimone says no. “That was just my stepping stone,” she says. “I know I’m an asset to TV. I didn’t know that about myself prior to the show… I will be back in the industry. I will be on bigger screens.”
Rizza also says she has no regrets. “Everything is a learning experience in life,” she said. “I have so much to tell and there’s no season two to continue my story.”