Russell Armstrong, Taylor Armstrong, Nicole Snooki Polizzi, Mike Situation Sorrentino

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Up until now, The Real Housewives franchise was known for shopping sprees, sipping martinis, and the occasional (ok, constant) catfight. But all that changed this summer when the reality TV series suffered a tragic fate: the suicide of a cast member.

But the show must go on. And it some of its highest ratings, ever. Which got us thinking...

Which sells more, sex or tragedy?

We usually tune into reality series to see who's banging who, hot bodies on display, bad surgery and steamy romps in a hot tub. Hey, it's what Snooki and her Jersey Shore guidos trained us to do!

But we think that is so not the case this time.

Now we know that tragedies aren't sexy—not even close. And sadly, this isn't the first time this has happened on a reality show. But when Bravo's ratings came out this week, we couldn't help but wonder if the 42 percent higher ratings had to do with Russell Armstrong's tragic suicide.

Did 2.2 million viewers tune into the reality soap to get the dish on Taylor Armstrong's late husband?

We think the answer is obviously yes.

So, tell us, what makes you tune in and watch these reality shows: sex appeal or a sad story? Both? Neither?

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