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In case you’re not aware by now, Bethenny Frankel is no longer a housewife on the Real Housewives of New York City.

Though Bravo wanted Bethenny, the clear fan favorite, to return for the show’s fourth season (currently being filmed), Bethenny decided she no longer wanted to do the show, instead opting to make guest appearances here and there a la Lisa Wu Hartwell on the Real Housewives of Atlanta.

According to a new report by Popeater, Bravo is now worried about what effect Bethenny’s absence will have on the show’s new season. “Bethenny is the biggest star the franchise has ever produced,” a Bravo insider reveals. “She not only connected with the most fans, but she also allowed the audience to laugh at how ridiculous the other ladies are. Without Bethenny making fun of the cast, the show just won’t be as much fun.”

Popeater adds that a main concern for Bravo is who will now call out Kelly Bensimon on her erratic/crazy/entertaining behavior. “Without Bethenny on the show, Kelly’s strange behavior is no longer funny, it’s just annoying,” adds the source.

Apparently Bravo became increasingly concerned after catching a glimpse of how the new season is going. Based on what they saw, they decided to ask Bethenny to return for more than the six appearances she is contractually obligated to make.

Bethenny, who is now gearing up for the second season of her Bravo spin off show, however doesn’t want to return for more appearances as she is ready to phase the NYC Housewives completely out of her life. Bethenny reportedly feels “physically sick” just thinking about having to return to the show, something she feels is a “toxic environment.”

A friend of Bethenny tells Popeater, “In her heart she wishes she could just move on.” The friend adds, “To tell the truth, she doesn’t even want to watch the new season let alone be forced to be part of it.” Ouch.

TELL US – DO YOU THINK BRAVO SHOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT A BETHENNY-LESS NYC HOUSEWIVES? THOUGHTS ON BETHENNY NOT WANTING TO RETURN TO THE SHOW?

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