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Real Housewives of New York

The Bravo network is moving full speed ahead after firing four of the Real Housewives of New York City cast members!

For the past week, we have been hearing that the network had already cast 3 new ladies to replace the fired housewives — Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Cindy Barshop, and Kelly Bensimon — and now the identity of those women have been revealed!

The NY Daily News is reporting the women pictured above from left to right, Carole Radziwill, Heather Thomson, and Aviva Drescher, have signed on to do the show. Below are brief bios of each of the new poor souls ladies -

Carole Radziwill - Carole is a distant relative of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis through her late husband Anthony Radziwill. Anthony’s mother Lee Radziwill is Jackie’s little sister. Anthony passed away of cancer in 1999 just four weeks after John F. Kennedy Jr and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy died in a plane crash. Carole was very close friends with Carolyn. Carole, a former ABC producer and now a bestselling author, appeared on the Oprah Show in 2005 to discuss her memoir What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship and Love. She has no kids and is reportedly single.

Heather Thomson – Heather is described as a successful designer and stylist. She owns the shapewear business, Yummie Tummie, which is sold in over 2,000 stores and has been featured as one of Oprah Winfrey’s “Favorite Things.” Jill’s not going to be happy about this! She has worked with the likes of Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez to help create and launch their respective labels. Heather is a married mom of two.

Aviva Drescher – is married to Reid Drescher, founder of Spencer Clarke Securities & Investment Banking. The couple have three children together. Sources says producers wanted a “Wall Street wife,” and Aviva just happens to fit the bill perfectly.

While Heather and Aviva have crossed paths with some of the RHONY housewives, a source states Carole has “never met any of the women.” Should be an interesting season!

Meanwhile Ramona Singer, one of the lucky three housewives who didn’t get fired by Bravo, is now speaking out on the firings while also revealing Jill was “cancerous” to her.

Ramona, who was “surprised” by the firings, tells the HollywoodLife, “I think Jill being gone will be [good] for me … Jill became a negative force in my life… It was just too much negative energy. There’s nothing wrong with having altercations and disagreements and arguments, but it can consume you and it can’t become cancerous. I felt with Jill, that’s what it became for me.”

In unusual Ramona fashion, she actually reveals she is sorta sad about the ladies’ departures. “I’m sad to see the other women go,” says Ramona. “I’ve been with some of them since the beginning and we kind of plowed the way with our show. So it’s sad, but it’s also on the same token, Bravo’s smart. They listen to the fans and I’m excited about it. Sometimes change is good.”

And finally, Jill continues to do her press tour, using the firing as a way to promote her Skweez Couture shapeware line. Jill gave an interview to GMA this morning during which she claimed she’s okay with Bravo’s decision because her line is now bringing in millions of dollars.

She also spoke about RHONY stating the show had become toxic and that while fans complained about all the fighting, it was sort of encouraged via the high ratings. Actually a valid point except things simply got too nasty on RHONY mostly thanks to Jill. When you start accusing your costar’s husband of physically attacking you to garner public sympathy, then that’s when the show stops being fun.

It gets even better as Jill also spoke about Taylor Armstrong. She said if she were in Taylor’s shoes, she would take 6 – 12 months off from talking to the press, while also quitting the housewives series. “Honestly, I wouldn’t talk to the press or anyone for six months to a year,” said Jill. “I would buckle down with my family and I probably wouldn’t come back on the show.”

Can you imagine Jill going 6 months without talking to the press??? Or even a week for that matter? Yes, neither can I! A video clip of Jill’s interview is below -

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TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE NEW HOUSEWIVES? PLUS THOUGHTS ON JILL & RAMONA’S COMMENTS?

Hot on the heels of the exciting shocking restructuring of Real Housewives of New York, the relieved of their duties housewives: Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Cindy Barshop, and Kelly Bensimon are scrambling to get their opinions heard and convince us that they actually, just quit with amicable parting. Yeah, right! How dumb do they think we are?

“No matter what anyone tells you of course we all wanted to be asked back,”one of the relieved ladies, who wishes to remain anonymous, remarked. “It’s never nice to get fired no matter what job you do. But to be strung along by your boss week after week, pretending the decision had not yet been finalized is just wrong,” she said in response to reports that Bravo execs were placing phone calls to Jill and Alex up until the final moments. Andy Cohen also called the ladies over the weekend, trying to distance himself from the final decision.

And days following the news, Andy finally responded to the controversy via his Bravo blog, stating: “By now you’ve heard the news about cast changes in the RHONY. This was a very tough decision, made with much care and discussion,” he wrote. Then giving props to the people that pay the bills – US – he explained: “In the end we listened to the fans, who expressed a desire for new stories and a major change in a direction.”

While that was as far as Cohen would go in describing the decision to fire certain ladies, it’s rumored that a certain red-headed diva’s demands for a pay raise and filming stipulations were the reason she got the axe! Oh, and that her hubby was completely ovah being apart of the show! And speaking of Jill, she seems to be taking the news in stride – at least publicly!

Writing in her newsletter, which was sent out to fans yesterday (yes, she has some and yes, I get it – for work purposes, of course) she remained aloof, commenting: “There is a lot I want to say and share but I just can’t today.” And after advertising an upcoming appearance, she continues: “I hope those of you in NYC will come and at that time I will be prepared to share what happened and what my future holds. I can’t thank you enough for all of the emails, tweets, facebook comments, letters and even gifts that you have sent to me. I read everything and although I may not be able to respond to everyone, I want you to know I have been brought to tears by all of the love you have sent to me. I don’t want you to worry though…when one door closes….many doors open.”

And according to reports, Jill is somewhat relieved the show has come to an end: “Jill is done with them and ready to move on,” according to a “source.” “If she’s not good enough to return to ‘Housewives’ she has no interest in making returning guest spots or making a surprise secret appearance in the middle of the Housewife season.” Well only time will tell if the seemingly spot-light obsessed, Zarin, makes good on that promise! Jill also revealed that she will no longer be participating in Bravo’s Housewives Tour.

While Jill seems to have many, um… exciting up-coming ventures and is ready to move forward; poor little Alex is absolutely devastated to lose her day job! Friends of the McCords commented that Silex is ”destroyed by the decision and will do whatever she can to make it right,” and “would be happy to continuing working with Bravo in a new capacity.” A source defending the duo lamented: “Alex and Simon have given their lives to making this show a hit and this is how they are thanked. Not fair.” Well perhaps the reason they were fired is that they have no life outside of the show and their storyline became boring, stale, and pathetic!

After tweeting a Twitter campaign to keep them on the show, citing fan support, Alex and Simon formally released their own statement in an US Weekly exclusive confirming that they are disappointed by the news: “After four seasons on Real Housewives of New York City, Simon and I are moving on. It’s a completely friendly departure and while it was their decision and not ours, we are in close communication with both Bravo and the production company about our next move, in addition to fielding outside offers.”

The fame-grasping duo continues: “It was bittersweet to finally get the call last Saturday but we knew it was on the cards. It’s been a bumpy ride; sometimes great and sometimes not, but it’s been an experience that I don’t regret having done.” If you are an Alex fan, don’t fret they will still be working with Aluxe Home hawking bedding!

As for Kelly, the resident crazy, she has let to comment at all or release any statements, she has been tweeting about health and hotness though, so at least we know she’s still kra-kra!

Finally, The new queen bee of RHONY (and the woman many fans are anticipating as being Bravo’s next target for the psychotic b!*ch edit), Ramona Singer, who likely knew who was getting the axe at the time the interview was conducted, recently spoke with fellow anti-Zarinette Lynn Hudson, and the ladies (and I use that term veeerrryyy loosely) teamed up to talk about, well, what else but the recently relieved of her duties, Jill Zarin!

In the interview, Pinot Singer reveals that she is “true friends” with Alex and Sonja Morgan “off-camera”, so she must have fought really, really hard to convince Andy to keep Alex in the line-up, right? And while her relationships with Alex and Sonja may be legit, her relationship with Jill is pretty much quits.

I tried very hard with Jill, but Jill is her own worst enemy, something I have told her many times,” she comments of her former co-star and frienemmy. “This past season the raw emotion between us was very real and the damage that was done was irreversible. Jill is an unhappy person, and clearly having a loving husband, fame and fortune doesn’t necessarily make you happy.”

Speaking about the almost completely forgotten Cindy, Ramona describes her as bad TV: “I enjoyed her one-on-one having dinner and things but she just wasn’t right for the show, some people just don’t do well in front of the cameras.”

Well, we will be looking forward to the upcoming season of fresh, new, Zarin-less drama; and at least we still have LuAnn’s one-liners to infuriate us!

Photo by: Adriana M. Barraza / WENN.com

Thoughts on the statements released by the ladies and by Senor Cohen? Do you believe Jill is actually glad to be done with the show? Do you believe this is the last time we will see her on Bravo? Are you excited about Season 5 of RHONY?

It’s official. The Bravo network has finally confirmed that Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Kelly Bensimon, and Cindy Barshop have indeed been fired from the Real Housewives of New York City.

Huffington Post’s Rob Shuter was the first to break the news of the firings last Thursday. Back then, both the network and the ladies denied the news. A report on Friday explained Bravo did not want the news to be made public in the case they decided to bring back one of the fired ladies, if things fell through with any of the new housewives they have cast.

Below is Bravo’s official statement on the issue -

Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan and LuAnn DeLesseps will be returning for season five of The Real Housewives of New York City. We’ve had a fabulous run with all the ladies and appreciate them sharing their lives with our viewers. It is a friendly departure among the other ladies and we continue to have ongoing discussions with them.”

Nice to see the network soften the blow by calling it a “friendly departure.” The fired housewives are also responding to the news. Below are statements released by the ladies to the Hollywood Reporter -

Jill Zarin“Jill is out of town with her husband Bobby and they are visiting her daughter Ally at college for family weekend so she is not speaking with the press. I can tell you that she is very happy and extremely busy with the national launch of her shapewear line Skweez Couture by Jill Zarin which will debut at Lord and Taylor stores across the country this month and then roll out at other national retailers in the coming months. Jill is humbled by the extraordinary amount of media interest in her response and looks forward to personally opening up about all of this very soon and announcing some exciting new projects,” Jill’s rep stated.

Alex McCord“Alex and I are sad that it’s come to this. We had a great four years. We don’t intend for this to be the final time you’ll see us on television. Everything happens for a reason. We are not happy, we’re not sad. It is what it is. We thank our fans. We have tremendous, tremendous outpouring of support. I think even Bravo is surprised by how much support Alex has had. It didn’t change their opinion or didn’t change their decision. And it might not be the end of seeing us on Housewives. It might not be the end of seeing us on Bravo. We don’t know that yet either. There’s a lot to be discussed in the upcoming weeks. We wish the next season well. We’re not going away. We remain happy and long may that continue,” said codependent couple Simon van Kempen and wife Alex.

Cindy Barshop – “Bravo and I parted amicably and I will not be returning for the show. And I’m absolutely thrilled with the opportunity, really am thrilled. And for me, it’s a great decision personally and for my business. It’s going to be an amazing year next year. I’m a hundred percent good with this decision. Everyone knows the Completely Bare spas nationally now…

Nice to see Simon admit that Bravo let Alex go and not the other way around. Kelly has yet to release a statement or comment on the firing. Perhaps she’s too busy sorting out her jelly beans.

When a fan asked Simon on twitter if the reason for their departure had to do with money or the other housewives, Simon responded: “Neither it was 100% @BravoTV’s decision on where they want #RHoNY to go in S5.” Alex on the other hand tweeted that the firing departure was “amicable.” Allrighty Alex! She also stated she is in talks with Bravo for other possible projects.

It appears Alex and Simon are still hoping to change Bravo’s mind as they both re-tweeted campaigns started by their fans to keep them on the show.

A report by E! News on Friday stated Alex and Simon were very shocked by the firing and were also worried about the financial impact of being let go from the show. Bravo paid the RHONY housewives a reported $275,000 per season. E! also reported Jill would try to turn this around to convince the public it was her decision to leave.

In fact, Jill’s BFF Patti Stanger stated on Friday that Jill was the one who decided to quit the show to pursue other opportunities. Uh Uh. “Jill left the show on her own,” said Patti to the Rumor Fix adding that the two are now working together on a yet to be named project. Jill’s rep also confirmed the two are indeed working together.

Bravo has reportedly cast 3 – 4 new housewives to replace the fired ladies.

Photo credit: WENN.com

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST?


A day after Rob Shuter of HuffingtonPost broke the news about Bravo firing Jill Zarin, 47, Alex McCord, 37, and Kelly Bensimon, 43, it turns out he was not technically the first one to break the news.

A look at the latest issue of UsWeekly magazine, which went to press on Tuesday, reveals the mag was the first to report that the three Real Housewives of New York City listed above alongside Cindy Barshop, 47, were on the chopping block. The mag only gives a reason for Jill’s axing, stating, “They were sick of her being a diva.”

And below E! News is also confirming the firings adding that Jill and Alex are taking it the hardest. So now we have the Huffington Post, E! News, and UsWeekly reporting the firings while the fired housewives are all denying the reports. Below are the statements given by the housewives -

Jill Zarin - “Jill has not been fired from The Real Housewives of New York City. The truth is that Jill is still in discussions with Bravo for season 5 and hasn’t made a final decision about returning to the show,” says Jill’s rep.

Alex McCord - She posted the following statement yesterday: “I can confirm that I have not been ‘fired’ by BRAVO for next season’s Real Housewives of New York City. There are many rumors swirling around. Here’s the truth – Simon & I are still under consideration for season 5 & we’ll know one way or another very soon. I have to laugh at all the purported ‘insiders’ giving ‘off the record’ quotes.”

NMFF Cindy Barshop – “Everything out there right now is just rumors. Nothing is 100 [percent] decided yet, it could go either way.”

Kelly Kra-Kra’s rep also denied she had been fired. However, all signs continue to point to the reports being true! In fact E! News is reporting that Bravo informed the women Thursday morning while explaining why the network is not confirming the news in the press.

“Basically by not publicly firing them and keeping them dangling, Bravo’s bought their silence while three new women start taping the new season in two weeks,” one RHONY insider explains. “Bravo found new women. Ramona [Singer] knows these women, she introduced them to Bravo. The Countess knows two as well. They wanted real New York society women.”

The source adds that taping begins in two weeks and that if the newbies have on-screen chemistry it’s a done deal with the previous Housewives. “On the very slim chance it doesn’t work, they have these ladies on the bench waiting to come back,” the source states.

Another insider reveals that Jill and Alex are taking the news the hardest. Jill is reportedly angry and is now in defense mode on how she can spin this to tell the public she left the show and wasn’t fired. “She’ll say she wasn’t coming back. She’s saying she’s ready to move on, she wants people to think it’s her decision, saying she wants to be a business woman and not a reality star. She’s very angry at both Bravo and [network executive] Andy [Cohen.]”

As for Alex, she and husband Simon van Kempen are reportedly in shock as they didn’t see this coming. Alex’s concern is however more of a financial one as her $275,000 income from Bravo is gone.

“Alex and Simon are both shell-shocked. They didn’t see it coming, they were blindsided. They’ve heard the rumors, but they thought they wouldn’t mess with the formula that works… They’ve just lost the $275,000 income they were making for the season. When Alex and Simon were not invited to do the live shows, they knew something was up. Alex is emailing and trying to stay in Bravo’s good graces as she need the money,” says the insider.

And just moments ago, UsWeekly reported Sonja Morgan confirmed the firings to them during an event last night while also confirming her return. “I really haven’t had time to digest it properly,” Sonja, 47, said Thursday night. “My voicemail was filled up today…At first, I just thought it was the usual rumors.” Sonja adds that Bravo informed her yesterday that she was returning for the new season.

Oddly enough, none of the housewives reported to be fired can say the same. And we all know they would be tweeting/releasing public statements about had they been asked back.

In fact Rob Shuter, who hung out with Ramona Singer last night, is standing by his report as he tweeted today that both Bravo and the fired housewives are “pissed” with him for breaking the news. He also confirms what LuAnn, who has been asked back, stated this week which is that 3 to 4 new “wealthy” housewives have been cast by Bravo.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST? DO YOU THINK JILL IS BEGGING BRAVO TO TAKE HER BACK? GOOD DECISION BY BRAVO TO AXE THESE LADIES?

In today’s shocking news, the Bravo network has reportedly fired Jill Zarin, Alex McCord and Kelly Bensimon from the Real Housewives of New York City! WOW to the ZERS!

Gossip columnist Rob broke the news, tweeting minutes ago: “Breaking #RHONY Jill, Alex and Kelly are gone insiders at Bravo tell me.” Cindy’s not fired???

Rob has a close relationship with a number of the RHONY housewives so he is a pretty credible source when it comes to RHONY news. We will keep checking for more updates and bring you more news the minute it becomes available!

UPDATE - The Huffington Post (the blog Rob works for) is now reporting that Bravo informed Jill, Alex and Kelly of the news this morning. The women reportedly had no idea they were being let go.

Sources confirm the trio will not be returning as fulltime cast members next season. Further confirming the news is the report that Countess Luann de Lesseps revealed yesterday in an interview that three new ladies will be added to the cast.

Another insider adds that Bravo told Jill, Alex & Kelly that they could possibly be reinstated next season if any of the new cast members don’t work out. While the article doesn’t mention Cindy, it was reported a while back that she was also being let go.

Pretty shocking move by Bravo as even though I’m no fan of the Jillousy, I don’t think firing her is the best way to go. Jill and Ramona Singer appear to be the two biggest stars of the show and bring a certain dynamic to the series. Love them or hate them. Alex’s firing is also a big surprise. Kelly’s? Not so much and very welcomed. As I stated previously, I believe letting Cindy and Kelly go, while bringing in three new housewives would have been best.

We will continue to bring you more updates! Photo by: Adriana M. Barraza / WENN.com

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THIS NEWS? ARE YOU SHOCKED OR VERY SHOCKED? HAPPY WITH THE CHANGES?

UPDATE #2 – UsWeekly is now reporting Cindy Barshop was also fired! As for why Jill was fired, sources tell the mag Bravo got “sick of her being a diva.” So now, the only remaining housewives are Ramona, Sonja, and Countess LuAnn. The source however adds that Ramona, who is currently negotiating her new contract, might end up getting the axe if she can’t reach a deal with Bravo. “If they can’t agree, she will be off the show as well,” says the source.

For the time being, none of the fired housewives have yet to confirm the news. In fact Jill and Alex, who normally tweet up a storm all through the day, have been very quite for the last couple hours.

UPDATE #3 – All of the fired ladies parties reported to have been fired are now denying the news citing they have yet to hear it from Bravo. Jill rep tells PEOPLE: “Jill is still in discussions with Bravo for season 5 and no final decisions have been made.” Alex also tweeted minutes ago: “Speaking for myself only, there is no decision yet whether I’m in or out of #RHONY -Nothing’s finalized, though I’d like to do another year.” All interesting. Denial or are they being honest?

While the Bravo network is reportedly set to make the Real Housewives of New York City casting decision this week, two of the show’s stars are now speaking out on a number of topics.

In an interview with E! Online, Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen talk Bethenny Frankel’s Skinnygirl scandal, the latest casting news and Russell Armstrong’s suicide.

When it comes to Bethenny (she is facing class action lawsuits over claims that her Skinnygirl drinkline is not all natural as claimed), Simon comes to her defense… sorta. “For me, there’s truth in advertising,” he told E! News. “If you’re upfront about it, there wouldn’t be scandal. I don’t think she was hiding anything at all, [but] once she sold it off, she lost a little control.”

Alex chimed in adding that Bethenny will get through it, though she is obviously “pretty peeved.”

When asked if they will be returning for another season of the RHONY, the duo echoed previously reported sentiments, which is that Bravo has yet to inform them of their decision. “We honestly don’t know,” Simon said. “You know as much as we do. We find out when everyone else does. It’s up to Bravo.”

Silex also touched on Russell Armstrong’s suicide, praising Bravo for handling it well. “We watched the first episode of Beverly Hills and I met him,” Alex stated. “There’s no great way for them [Bravo] to handle it.” Simon added, “It’s such a private thing. I thought Bravo handled it as well as they could… They either have to cancel the show or face it head on. They faced it head on.”

In other news, it seems to be pouring for Bethenny Frankel as just days after the class action lawsuits were filed against her, RadarOnline uncovered legal documents about the new home she purchased in TriBeCa, New York.

According to Radar, the docs reveal Bethenny, 40, put down $2.7 million on the four-bedroom condo and borrowed $2.3 million from Bank of America — in the form of a 30-year mortgage. The site then went on to question what happened to her reported $120 million payout if she’s taking out a mortgage. Radar also pointed out that Bethenny’s former assistant Molly was the one who signed all the paperwork.

CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS OF BETHENNY’S NEW $4.9 MIL CONDO!

Gossip columnist Rob Shuter then tweeted, “Strange! @Bethenny is in $2.3 million in debt! Got mortgage on her new apt. Where is her $120 million?” This led to outrage from Bethenny fans who defended her on twitter.

Bethenny fan @AtlantaSue2 tweeted: “@NaughtyNiceRob @Bethenny Ridiculous. A mortgage isn’t considered bad debt. It’s an investment. You look foolish tweeting this crap!” In fact, Bethenny herself then replied, “You guys are so smart. People are morons. @AtlantaSue2.”

When all is said and done, it appears taking out the $2.3 million mortgage might have been for tax benefits. Plus even though Bethenny reportedly earned over $100 million for the sale of her drinkline, it’s more than likely most of that amount will come in future payouts and/or when incentives are reached.

Photos credit: WENN

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON SILEX’S COMMENTS AND ON BETHENNY’S MORTGAGE “DRAMA” ?

In the wake of Russell Armstrong’s suicide, several of the castmembers of Real Housewives of New York City spoke to PEOPLE offering their sympathy and support to Taylor Armstrong and defending Bravo against any allegations that reality TV may have been involved in Russell’s decision to take his own life. Since the casting, apparently, hasn’t been “officially” finalized yet – I guess these ladies are doing some sucking up!

Taking a break from Pinot-ing, Ramona Singer, offered her perspective: “I think it is very tragic. But I don’t think that the reality show is to blame for his unfortunate death. I think he had problems. And it’s sad when someone has so many problems, they feel the only way they can eliminate their pain is by taking their life.”

Krazy Kelly Bensimon, also offered her support to the network paying her bills, declaring: “I would never blame it on the show.” Just like she didn’t “blame” the show for forcing her to go on Scary Island and be subjected to “systematic bullying”? Anyways, in a shocking turn, Ms. Bensimon went on to give an insightful statement about what Russell’s reasons: “You don’t know what happens behind closed doors. And no one can judge. It’s no one’s job to do that. A lot of people speculate.”

Also extending statements of support and empathy, Sonja Morgan relayed: “My heart goes out to her [Taylor] and I’m here for her. But I never intrude,” Sonja explained. “She knows I’m here, but sometimes being helpful is just staying out of someone’s business.”

Alex McCord, on the other hand, took the classy (am I allowed to use the dread “C” word to describe her?) approach – declining to comment at all, stating: “I don’t even feel comfortable talking about that publicly.”

And noticeably absent from the roster of RHoNYC castmembers speaking about the events is the Jill Zarin! Could it be… that Jill, who is rumored to be hiding out vacationing in Italy with husband, Bawby has been … dropped from the lineup?! Likely not, given that Andy Cohen is still vacationing happily instead of entering the Witness Protection Program!

Which brings me to my next bit of news, unfortunately for all us former fans, The NY Post is now reporting that Bravo is feeling skittish about involving any new housewives in the franchise – despite some attempts to recast in the hopes of including more “downtown types.” As you recall, with the exception of last season’s newbie Cindy Bore-shop, there have been no offical rumors speculating about who Bravo was considering replacing, however a source reveals: “They looked at over 30 women, and narrowed it to three [new cast members].”

But after the unexpected tragedy with Russell Armstrong, the network became nervous about shaking things up; and especially concerned about informing castmembers they were out. “The last thing they need right now are more surprises,” the source explains. “The first one to get axed is going to write a book, and these girls know the secrets of production. The show’s still working on some level, even if Bravo is tired of the story lines.”

A rep from Bravo confirms the last statement, explaining: “Production was pushed, as we are finalizing some details for the new season. The cast will be notified once shooting is about to commence.”

Soon to be fired castmember Cindy also echoed that sentiment, telling the HollywoodLife blog that Bravo will be making the casting decision this week. “Obviously nobody’s got it going down right now, but soon — probably another week everybody will know,” said Cindy late last week.

A Bravo insider reveals the network has to send a letter notifying the cast members that their options have been picked up. The women then have the choice to accept the offer. “After the girls accept, that’s when Bravo would announce season five,” the insider says. “The girls will be notified right before filming begins.”

And there you have it. I guess, Bravo already knows what to expect from the current crazy … Too bad they can’t trust that the fans are all really tired of the storylines and the ladies, as well. Perhaps if the ratings take a nosedive that will get Cohen, et al to finally wake up! Or we could always start a Twitition…

Do you think Bravo will recast any of the ladies except Cindy? Are you surprised by the network’s reaction? Will you be watching if the cast (and the subsequent storylines) remain the same?

It looks like Real Housewives of New York didn’t start filming this weekend as earlier speculated. In fact, none of the ladies know yet whether they’ll even be returning for the new season. Has anyone checked on Jill Zarin? She has to be freaking out just a tad.

Sonja Morgan took time out of her star-studded schedule to speak to the New York Post before flitting off to a party for Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. And wow…throwing Sonja in with the Kardumphries–there’s a show I’d watch! But, I digress. Sonja told the Post, “None of us should be unhappy where we are. It’s really up to Bravo and what they want to do.” She continues, “If it happens, it happens. But none of us should be unhappy because of the success we’ve already earned. If I’m not back next season, it’s not bad. We’re still all stars.” Um, okay.

Bravo hasn’t given an official reason for the delay, but a rep for the network provided a statement, saying, “Production for Real Housewives of New York was pushed as we are finalizing some details for the new season. The cast will be notified once shooting is about to commence.” One can assume that the network is still dealing with the aftermath of Russell Armstrong’s suicide, hopefully trying to realign the franchise with its original premise, which was free from most of the drama and ugliness we are currently glued to multiple times a week.

Also in the wake of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills tragedy, new precautions are being taken with the reality stars’ contracts. Discussing reality show contracts in general, one source tells the Huffington Post, “I’m ashamed to admit I work on a show that once had in writing that contestants agreed we could humiliate them.” The source continues, “I have even seen contracts for dating shows that say if you contract a sexual disease on the show the producers were not responsible. What’s the amazing part is that the people that go on these shows are so desperate to be famous, and have no real talent, that they actually sign these deals.” Wow.

So what do these changes mean for Bravo specifically? It potentially means that Bravo will be more stringent in enforcing a psychological testing clause already present in its contracts with those involved in the Housewives franchise. One of Bravo’s New York Housewives reveals, “We all have in our contracts that Bravo can force us to take a [psychological] test. To my knowledge nobody did, but moving forward any new cast members will for sure. This isn’t to protect the talent but rather to protect Bravo for the next time something horrid happens.” I have to say it doesn’t sound like a horrible plan. In fact, I can think of a few current Housewives they may want to consider testing…

WHO DO YOU THINK WILL BE RETURNING TO THE NEW YORK CAST? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING? WHO DO YOU THINK SHOULD BE TESTED FIRST?

 

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