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Real Housewives of New York had a looooong hiatus while it got all its new ducks in a row. Sadly, either people forgot about them and didn’t bother going back or everyone is still sick of the lingering taint of acidic drama. Regardless of why less and less people tuned in, the ratings for the season five premiere were less than stellar. Like so less than stellar Kim Zolciak‘s wig reveal slammed RHONY!

According to The Huffington Post, the season premiere only drew 1.7 million viewers in it’s 9pm slot. Which is unprecedentedly low for a Housewives season premiere. Just for some perspective – Real Housewives of Orange County (previously the lowest rated in the franchise) got over 2 million viewers for it’s season premiere.

Allegedly Bravo isn’t too upset by the ratings. “Bravo didn’t expect the numbers to be huge,” a network insider revealed. “Monday is a new night for the show and it’s the most competitive night of the week.”

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“The show used to air on Thursdays. What is good is that it’s up over 90 percent over the past four weeks in the Monday time period [for Bravo's programming]. However, the real truth won’t be known until a couple of weeks when the numbers grow or continue to decline.”

And apparently this will be a good lesson for Bravo producers about making drastic changes to the cast. “This has proven that you can’t just fire cast members and hope the show remains the same in the ratings. Viewers get attached to even the cast members they love to hate,” a TV insider explained. “If I were a housewife on Bravo at the moment, I would be asking for a raise.” Wow – OK, then…

Moving on, it seems Jill Zarin is having trouble letting go of her glory days. Between stoking rumors that she may return to RHONY and attempting to buddy up to all the new cast members, Jill just refuses to accept that she is no longer part of the show. And now RadarOnline is reporting that Jill crashed LuAnn de Lesseps‘ season premiere viewing party!

LuAnn held a cast-wide party – which everyone attended – at Lantern’s Keep cocktail salon in the Iroquois Hotel in NYC. Apparently Jill and LuAnn have remained friends (at least for publicity sake) and Jill decided no one would mind if she stopped by for a bit.

“She wasn’t invited, wasn’t on the guest list, and just totally crashed the party!,” an attendee shares. “She walked in like she owned the place and said she was only there to congratulate LuAnn.”

As is expected, Jill had ulterior motives. She stayed for about an hour and a half; most of which she spent chatting up reporters and promoting herself! Indeed, several interviews from Jill are currently circling the web.

Sadly, she was not wanted at the festive gathering. “People were trying not to look at her, but she really made it awkward for everyone,” the eyewitness added. “It was very awkward for the new Housewives, especially with the Bravo execs there.” Why am I not surprised by Jill‘s latest faux pas?

Finally, the newest additions to RHONY are settling into their roles nicely and talking about how they came to appear on the show. Apparently Carole Radziwill, easily one of the most pedigreed castmembers in Housewives history, came to join the show through a friendship with Andy Cohen. We are the company we keep, Carole – and birds of a feather…

“I know Andy and we were having dinner last summer and he asked if I’d be interested in doing the show,” Carole recently told Page Daily. “My immediate  response was ‘Umm…no.’ I didn’t think he was serious until he sent me an email the following morning asking me to think about it. So I did.”

Not surprisingly, Carole shares that her favorite moment from filming was the end of the season finale party. “It was at Norwood, a private arts club on 14th Street. We were there to celebrate the completion of my new book, The Widows Guide to Sex & Dating. Yay!!”

Heather Thomson shares that producers contacted her out the blue. “I got a call from a casting director saying they were kicking my name around and would I be interested in joining the cast of RHONY,” she recalls. “My first instinct was wow, thanks so much for thinking of me, but I initially didn’t think it was the right choice for me or my family.  However, as I learned more, and understood that they wanted to change the direction of the show, I auditioned and it started to peak my interest.”

As for the drama that’s been advertised for months, the new ladies assure us it’s coming, but they tried their best to stick together and stay out of it for the most part. “We bonded in the way people do who go through an intense experience together. Like Sisters-in-Arms,” Caroline asserts. “[The originals are] more like moms you love but are sometimes embarrassed by.”

“It was NOT ‘old girls’ versus ‘new girls.’ Some people organically got along and some did not,” Aviva Drescher insists. “The one hint I can give you (I don’t want to spoil any surprises!) is that lots of relationships CHANGE throughout the season as we all get to know one another with time and travel.”

Heather adds, “What viewers don’t expect are some of the close bonds of friendship that are developed out of the drama both with new and returning cast members.”

TELL US – DID YOU WATCH RHONY – ARE YOU SURPRISED BY THE NUMBERS? THOUGHTS ON  JILL CRASHING LUANN’S PARTY: RIDICULOUS OR TO BE EXPECTED?

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