Ice Road Truckers: Will viewers embrace all-male cast of Season Six?

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

Ice Road Truckers, Season Six, premieres on the History Channel tonight with an all-male cast; will viewers embrace the no-Lisa, no-Maya cast, or will they shut off their televisions in protest?

Fans of the History Channel’s popular Ice Road Truckers have been waiting patiently since last season to see their favorite truckers back in action, and tonight is the night they will finally get their wish. However, this season fans will see a big change: an all-male cast.

It isn’t the first time that the show has sported an all-male cast, of course. Seasons One and Two, long-time viewers will recall, had all-male casts. But, in Season Three, Ice Road Truckers spiced it up a little bit, giving viewers something many had never considered: a female driver on the ice roads.

Driver Lisa Kelly joined the cast of Ice Road Truckers in Season Three, and became one of, if not the, break-out stars of the show. She was different, of course, because she was a woman, but she was also spunky and determined to learn, and viewers liked her. She returned for Seasons Four and Five, and has also appeared in the History Channel’s spin-off show, IRT Deadliest Roads. So, when the cast was announced for Season Six, and Lisa was not a part of it, there was surprise from some viewers, outrage from others. In response to a recent article, Huliq readers supporting Lisa were vocal with their opinions:

  • Benjamin:
  • Lisa Kelly is primary reason I watch IRT, No Lisa, No IRT for me. IRT will not last without Lisa.

  • Anonymous:
  • I have waited months for Ice road truckers to start and now I find out Lisa isn't going to be on! Thats disappointing at the least and now the question is will I watch the show? I hope lisa is doing okay and wish her well, but I really wish she was on the show.

  • Richard S:
  • Without Lisa Kelly, IRT 6 will be about as interesting as watching paint dry.

  • Patti:
  • No Lisa, probably no watch.

Will fans of the show follow Patti’s prediction and fade away from the viewing audience?

Last season, fans met Maya, a second female driver added to the cast. Her success was mediocre at best, both as a driver on the ice road and as a cast member of IRT, but some viewers were not happy to see her go:

  • Finley:
  • No Lisa? No Maya? They were the main reasons to watch the show to begin with. If it was their decision not to be on the show then its OK with me. But if they cut them out for no good reason, then its adios Ice Road Truckers and the History Channel.

  • Dale Alexander:
  • I watched the show to see Lisa and Maya. Without the girls the show is not worth watching. To much contrived drama. I will not watch this season.

  • Dan:
  • Without Lisa and to some degree Maya, The show won't have the impact fr me. I will still watch an episode or two but, without them I won't be all that interested.

  • Ex-fan:
  • We had a group of 5 who met every week to watch IRT. Now we'll play cards instead! No Lisa. No Maya. The History Channel might as well post a "Men Only" disclaimer!

For some viewers, there may not have been a particular attachment to either Lisa or Maya, it seems; they just are not interested in the show returning once again to an all-male cast:

  • Beartracker:
  • I was excited to see IRT was returning for season 6 , but lady drivers...I fail to see the allure of a bunch of hairy a++ men driving trucks......boring, females add the unknown element and excitement, ratings will not be good.

  • Anonymous:
  • Guys driving trucks? That's expected and boring. Without a pretty little gal along to make it interesting there's zero interest for me and no reason whatever to watch. Sorry, but I'm afraid it's over and out, good buddies.

  • Anonymous:
  • I enjoy watching strong women who are earning their way. They are good role models for young women. No Lisa or Maya then count me out.

Of course, not everyone was a Lisa or Maya fan, and their departure may actually be welcomed by those:

  • Tyler from ND:
  • Lisa is a fliping space cadet; she couldn't drive to save her life!

  • Anonymous:
  • I am soooooo glad Maya is gone!!!!!!! Now I can start watching the show again....YAY!!!!

  • Anonymous:
  • Let see she screwed up the push-pull season 4 because she was IMPATIENT. She screwed up the push-pull and her heavy load because again she was IMPATIENT. Then she whines like a child wah wah I screwed and am being held accountable. I don't like that. I like Lisa, not her attitude.

Overall, however, there seem to be more people disappointed to see the all-male, no-Lisa, no-Maya cast than those who welcome it. Having the female drivers injected a different vibe into the show, and History may not be able to successfully go back from that formula at this point. Maya not coming back probably was not much of a surprise for most viewers. However, Lisa not coming back is something different. She had become a constant presence on the show—fans just expect her to be there. Now, why she is not there is unclear. Rumors on message boards have floated everything from headaches to contract breakdowns, but nothing has been confirmed at this point, so why she is not there still remains a big question mark. But, viewers’ response to her absence is probably the biggest question mark for the History Channel at this time: How will viewers respond to an all-male, no-Lisa, Ice Road Truckers cast this season?

Stay tuned.

Ice Road Truckers Season Six premieres tonight, Sunday, June 3, on the History Channel at 9/8C.

UPDATE: With no Lisa Kelly, Austin may be trucker to watch

Image: Wikimedia Commons


Submitted by TP (not verified) on
No Lisa or Maya? Come on! Lisa cared more than any of the others and Maya was coming on strong. I'll still watch this season, but if Lisa and Maya don't return next year (if there is one), I'm out!

Submitted by ghostrunner (not verified) on
disappointed that lisa and maya are not on but they couldn't find another female to drive a truck, sorry 6 guys drivimg trucks doesn't do it for me

Submitted by Jean (not verified) on
I agree..and I'm a woman. I only watched IRT to see how Lisa ahandled the truck and the situations she was put in. I won't watch it with the all male cast..sorry.

Submitted by Jean (not verified) on
I agree..and I'm a woman. I only watched IRT to see how Lisa ahandled the truck and the situations she was put in. I won't watch it with the all male cast..sorry.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
i was looking forward to seeing the girls again men are so boring lisa and maya showed us woman definately can pull their weight probably wont watch

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
The show won't be the same without Lisa or Maya. This was one of my favorite shows..I am out..wait for next season. Nothing against the other drivers, just not as interesting. Hopefully they come back next season!

Submitted by Lisa & Maya Fan (not verified) on
The show was interesting because of the women doing a "man's" job and trust me, the crusty old timers you are using aren't very interesting so I just reprogrammed the dvr and got rid of Ice Road Truckers. I'll check back next season you silly people.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
If either of the two girls were on the show, I would have watched. But I'll be removing it from recording queue now. I wonder if they requested more than the History channel would pay.

Submitted by gale (not verified) on
i like many have wated all winter no lisa no show, that was a stupid decision

Submitted by Michelle R (not verified) on
Don't care if Maya is back but Lisa not there is Not right! She was definately a breathe of fresh air. The foul language the other's use (I know they r "truckers") she came in did the job and was a joy to watch! Glad to see Jesse back but probably will NOT watch it boring now, love Alex! God Bless and be safe guys!


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