The busiest man in reality television, and our lord and savior, Andy Cohen, has evolved from a behind the scenes player and “that dude who hosted the reunion show” to a full-fledged celeb in his own right, and is poised to become even more well-known now that his quirky talk show Watch What Happens Live is now on a whole five nights a week.
There’s no doubt Andy played a huge role in Bravo’s transformation from obscure basic cable network to one of the nation’s main suppliers of rich people drama and D-listers. While he’ll be putting in much more time on-camera these days that doesn’t mean he’ll be abandoning his role as Executive Producer, telling the Hollywood Reporter that he’ll “remain in charge of all development and talent” (his use of the word talent makes me think of Andy as a Barbizon modeling agent!) and will remain an executive producer of Top Chefand all iterations of Real Housewives.
While he admits that this will remove “twenty something” odd shows from his workload, he is still very involved in a few projects featuring stars Bravo basically created including Jeff LewisandBethenny Frankel: “Jeff Lewis has an incredible new show coming on, Interior Therapy, we’re in post on that show, I can’t imagine stopping watching rough cuts of that show. I’m very invested in it and I want it to be right. I just got two new episodes of Bethenny Frankel’s new show today, I’m seven in already, and I probably want to finish that season out. So, there’s a lot of work that I feel I will probably continue doing.”
Given the success of the shows Andy has had his hand in, we doubt his bosses at Bravo would want him to stop producing shows, either. His influence can definitely be felt in other shows, especially with his crown jewels — Real Housewives and Top Chef; he admits to THR that there are “at least 25 Housewives rip off shows right now.”
Speaking of the Housewives, in a separate interview with Wetpaint, Andy lets Jill Zarinfinally score a point in the ongoing media war that is her existence by giving her credit for finding Bethenny and Ramona Singer onReal Housewives of New York, saying “Jill helped us cast Bethenny and Ramona. She absolutely did.”
Andy, however, makes it clear that he doesn’t believe Jill deserves a commission for that. If you recall, Jill revealed last week that she wanted a finder’s fee for discovering Bethenny. “I don’t get a commission for it,” said Andy. “She’s done very well from the show, so that’s her commission. But she did [help cast them]. She absolutely can take credit for finding Bethenny and Ramona.”
He also stands by his decision to let Jill go, along with her co-stars Alex McCordand Kelly Bensimon, claiming, as Jill has probably said to her daughter hundreds of times, that its for the show’s own good: “And I just think, whether the ratings are down this season or up, for the long-term health of the New York Housewives, we did the right thing.”
TELL US: ARE YOU ENJOYING THE DAILY EDITIONS OF WATCH WHAT HAPPENS? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE THE HOUSEWIVES RIP-OFF SHOWS? DO YOU THINK JILL ZARIN DESERVES COMMISSION FOR FINDING BETHENNY AND RAMONA? IS ANDY COHEN YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR?
Even more horrific, if all works out for Jill, the show will be on FOX a.k.a. a major network. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news yesterday with sources telling the site FOX is in talks with Jill about her own show to be tentatively titled The Beverly Jillbillies.
Jill’s show will be based on her move to Los Angeles to build her own fashion empire. The show’s producers and FOX declined to comment on the news, while Jill has recently admitted she is currently house-hunting in Los Angeles. Let’s not count those eggs before they hatch now Jill!
Since being fired by Bravo last September, Jill has continued to leak out stories stories have continued to magically appear on blogs about Jill getting a spinoff. I’m, however, having major doubts that Jill will get a show at least not on FOX as most major non-cable networks tend to shy away from personal reality shows instead focusing on more competition based reality shows such as American Idol, Survivor, etc.
Moving on to some not so scary news as another report is stating Ramona Singer wants in on the Celebrity Apprentice action! Okay maybe this is just as scary as the previous story.
A source reveals to amNewYork that Ramona is “trying to convince” Donald Trump to cast her in the next season of his NBC show. Ramona, never one to shy away from an awkward public moment, even brought up the idea to The Donald while she attended a recent function with him in Florida days ago.
“Ramona says that if [“Real Housewives of New Jersey” star] Teresa Giudice can compete, then Ramona most certainly can,” the source said.
Well, she does have that whole crazy, unpredictable and combative housewife flare down so perhaps she is a perfect fit for the show afterall!
[Photos Credit: WENN]
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON JILL POSSIBLY GETTING A SHOW ON FOX? WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE RAMONA ON CELEBRITY APPRENTICE?
For reasons that are hard to comprehend, she is still being featured in the press and giving interviews holding on to her very last threads of relevance by slamming her former co-workers at every opportunity.
Radar features a piece with several choice quotes from Jill, where she insists that the show is nothing without her: “Now that I’m not there, who is going to hold court this season? None of the new women knew each other before they were cast. I know if I were there, I could make people feel comfortable.”
If by making people feel comfortable, you mean loudly picking fights at every opportunity, then sure, Jill, you could have made rumored new cast members Carole Radziwill,Heather Thomson andAviva Drescherfeel right at home in the Real Housewives family!
Since she apparently ran out of things to say about her feud with former BFF Bethenny Frankel, Jill set her sights on slamming former frenemy Ramona Singer.
“No one cares about Ramona Singer anymore,” Jill rants about her former costar. “I’ve heard the new cast members are not happy with her. Ramona planted that ridiculous story about me borrowing clothes from Saks Fifth Avenue and returning them worn. But I’m having a huge party there in February, so Ramona is the one who looks like the idiot.”
While we are sure *someone* cares about Ramona, there is probably some truth to the statement that Ramona is fighting with the other ladies. Ramona, as we all remember, has had a fight with all of her cast mates at one point or another.
Not one to take anything sitting down (or without a glass of wine), Ramona tells Wetpaint Entertainment that, “Jill is delusional. And needs a reality check — no pun intended.”
Delusional or not, Jill is doing just fine for herself these days, proudly showing off a $19,000 ring once worn by Elizabeth Taylor to the TMZ cameras last week that husband Bawby Zarin gifted her for their 11th wedding anniversary. While Jill may say she’s happy going back to being just another New York wife, we think she misses the cameras much more often than she will ever admit to.
A picture of Jill’s $19K ring is below! The NY Daily News is now reporting that Jill’s pricey purchase has inspired her to start her own jewelry line, which will debut in time for Valentine’s Day. How convenient.
Hi RT readers! Introducing our newest writer Maria Diaz to you all today! Some of you might be familiar with Maria as she has been blogging about Bravo shows for a while now. You will be able to read more about Maria tomorrow when we publish her bio! Please give her a great RT welcome! Thanks – RT 🙂
Our long national nightmare may be coming to an end; Us Weekly reports this weekend that Bethenny Ever After, former housewife and current Skinnygirl mogul Bethenny Frankel‘s hit reality show, will be coming to an end after its third season premieres on February 20.
Before you put your monogrammed tinfoil hats on and blame this on Jill Zarin, do not fear: the source tells Us Weekly that this was a decision Bethenny came to on her own, wanting to end the show on a “high note” and instead she “is going to concentrate on her many business ventures.”
“The door is open for other projects with Bravo,” the source adds. “But as far as Bethenny Ever After goes, she feels that ending the show on a high note and ending it after this season would be best for her family. She doesn’t want her [20-month-old] daughter [Bryn] to grow up on TV.”
This was a year of almost endless bad press for Bethenny, who for a while seemed virtually untouchable, as viewers watched her go from the sad singleton begging her detached boyfriend to move in with her on Real Housewives of New York City’sfirst season, to happily married, with a baby and a fat bank account after she successfully sold her line of Skinnygirl cocktails to Jim Beam for a highly disputed amount of money. However, then came some lawsuits, an accusation that she faked being lost at sea for her reality show and lastly her talk show got dropped.
In any case, if there’s one thing Bethenny is good at it’s spinning just about anything in her favor (it’s why they pay her the big bucks!) and she did just that at this weekend’s Television Critics Association press junket (this is when the networks roll out previews of all the new shows, along with forcing the actors and other stars to talk to an army of members of the media).
She says all the stories are just making her stronger and it’s a testament to just how popular she is, telling E! Online: “I’m also a little bit flattered because it means I must’ve really made something out of myself, because there are that many that that want to tear me down. A lot of people want to tear me down, and if I were them, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.”
Bethenny also spoke out about her former BFF Jill Zarin. When asked if she had any advice for the now fired Jill, she stated, “Jill Zarin is definitely a survivor. She is definitely well-to-do and I don’t think she’s worried about finding a job.”
Bethenny doesn’t end there going on to give Jill a not so subtle diss. “She was on the show for years, and in many of the cities people are only on for one or two seasons,” Bethenny explains. “It just happens that they make it a little fresher. I’m sure she’ll find exactly what she’s looking for. It probably just stings a little bit. It’s a little bit difficult. She has her own way of dealing with it. I’m sure it’s difficult for her a little bit to watch what’s going on with me. Maybe if I were in her position, that’d be difficult for me, too. She handles it the way she knows how.”
As for what we can expect on the third and reportedly final season of her reality show, Bethenny states we will get to see some marital issues between her and hubby Jason Hoppy. Though she says her marriage has “amazing ups,” it also has struggles: “I just turned 41, and I unintentionally crammed everything in,” said Bethenny. “I got pregnant, I got married, I sold part of my business, and now we’re settling into what married life really is.”
Bethenny notes that she’s still “in therapy,” and despite problems between Jason and herself, she did not request that the cameras be turned off. “We’re going there,” she added.
Regarding her future on Bravo, they are naturally tight-lipped about whether or not the third season of BEA will be her last (I’d like to suggest a follow-up entitled Everybody Hates Bethenny, where she will just deal with all her haters) and the network tells Us Weekly that: “They haven’t even finished shooting this season so no decision has been made about another one yet.”
Whatever the decision is, love her or hate her, no doubt folks will be watching Bethenny, whether to laugh, cry or just speculate on how much plastic surgery she’s truly had done.
[Photo Credit: WENN]
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON BETHENNY CHOOSING TO END HER SHOW? SMART? ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT SEASON 3? THOUGHTS ON HER COMMENTS ABOUT JILL & HER MARRIAGE?
I think it’s fair to say that Jill Zarin, former Real Housewives of New York cast member, is having a hard time letting go. Since she was abruptly fired last year Jill has given countless interviews about leaving the show and how much she loves being away from the cameras. And we’re not believing it for a second!
In the latest, Jill did a sit-down with The Hollywood Reporter and gave an explosive testimonial about what it’s really like to be a part of Reality TV and offered up some pretty shocking behind the scenes details about Bravo and the show. Now that she’s not under contract she has nothing to lose and good — because I love a juicy story!
When asked why she was let go from the cast Jill explains she still has no idea and swears that Bravo was stringing her and fellow fired Housewives along before finally issuing the pink slip.
“First off, I like to say I was fired because I’m not embarrassed about it. I didn’t do anything wrong, so I really don’t know why they fired us and kept the other girls.”
“We were told that they wanted to begin season five filming over Labor Day, so the other ladies and I were preparing story lines, basically putting our lives on hold until shooting. In June, it wasn’t even a question if they were inviting me back. By August, conversations started to change. They were hesitant to commit and delayed the announcement. Then I got a call the Wednesday after Labor Day that Bravo decided to bring back LuAnn [de Lesseps], Sonja [Morgan]and Ramona [Singer], but the rest would not be decided until the end of the week.”
“I’m smart enough to know that they were putting out contracts to new girls, and whether they signed would determine our fate. So, at 5 p.m. on a Saturday night I get a phone call from my producer, and she told me that Bravo had made the decision to let the four of us go.”
“I was upset because I was told to put my life on hold,” Jill explains. “But I didn’t argue, I wasn’t going to try to sell anyone. I said, ” ‘OK. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me.’ ”
“Andy Cohencalled shortly after, which I’m sure was a difficult thing to do. He gave me the respect I deserved considering I committed four years of my life to the show. He said they wanted the series to go in a different direction and that last season ended very dark — which I find ironic because they could have controlled that. I filmed many happy scenes that the network canned.”
Very interesting as fans of RHONY and others in the Housewives franchise have been begging for the shows to return to their original intent of happy and fun-loving docu-dramas about wealthy women and their lives. Is Bravo really deciding not to air that kind of footage in lieu of footage with high drama content?
Jill continues by explaining that Bravo’s decision to let her go had absolutely nothing to do with reports that she requested a higher salary to continue filming. “First of all, we were finally making a decent amount of money last season. That was never a concern,” Jill states, saying it is “absolutely untrue” that salary disputes occurred.
“They’re getting a lot of money now, so that’s another thing I’m disappointed about. I didn’t get to make the money I feel I deserved. I didn’t just help make the show popular; I cast it,” Jill shockingly reveals.
Jill goes onto claim that she was responsible for bringing in Bethenny Frankel (her then close friend), which is common knowledge and possibly alleges that Bravo should have paid her a finders fee of sorts. “I brought in Bethenny, and I don’t get a percentage of anything she spins off. The first, second and third season salary pretty much added up to the fourth season. I worked really hard.”
This leads me to wonder if other Housewives receive percentages of earnings as rewards for adding to the casts. I doubt this very much, but it is a possibility. Bravo has readily admitted that Kyle Richards was the first woman cast to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and she introduced the other women to producers and assembled the majority of women that were eventually hired — even her season one nemesis Camille Grammer.
When asked if the show is scripted Jill describes that, of course, editing plays a huge part in what viewers see. “It’s a TV show, not a documentary. It’s not scripted, but it is edited. It doesn’t mean we didn’t live it, it just means they focus on a particular storyline.”
Also, Jill point blank accuses Bravo of manipulating scenes and circumstances to build plot lines! “With New Jersey, they were brilliant to film season four before season three aired. They had to. Bravo had no delusions that they set up Teresa [Giudice]by hiring her sister-in-law and cousin without letting her know. It’s understandable Teresa would be upset. The show couldn’t film now: Teresa and Caroline [Manzo]won’t even be in the same room, and Jacqueline [Laurita] quit. As a cast, they’re kaput.”
As for what she is up to now that she is done with Housewives, Jill is not leaving television in the dust as she is working to secure other deals in the medium. “My husband and I were recently in L.A. for meetings about a potential television opportunity. And now I finally have the freedom to do that.”
Jill insists that the NBC-owned Bravo kept their Housewives under close watch and did not allow them to branch out into other networks — even to promote products which the network takes a percentage of. “That’s the one thing Bravo would never give us: the ability to appear elsewhere. Before, I could never appear on another network. We couldn’t even do Good Morning America, we had to do Today, even if it was to promote our brands. They were very controlling,” Jill reveals.
“In hindsight, it would have been smarter for them to do a development deal with me. I would have been stupid enough to let them build my ego and give me a deal for no money that would lock me to the network.”
Even though Jill has scathing things to say about the network that paid her bills for four years she is still happy she did the show. “The show made women in their 40s and 50s relevant again. Hollywood is all about young girls, and this was an opportunity that didn’t require us to be young and beautiful. It’s real women.” Well, somewhat…
“But I won’t miss the lying and the fighting,” Jill discloses. “And I won’t miss the stress over clothes. I had to have 80 outfits for the season, and I would totally stress over that.”
Wow pretty good stuff! I have to say being part of the Housewives franchise sounds incredibly stressful and complicated and I’d rather be a viewer than a participant!
Moving on, current RHONY cast member Pinot Singer spent her holidays on the island of St. Martin with her husband Mario and daughter Avery. Photos of the family vacation are below! They look happy and relaxed and I’m jealous! I wonder if she toted along any Ramona Singer Pinot Grigio?
[Photo Credit: PNP/ WENN.com]
THOUGHTS ON JILL’S EXPLOSIVE INFORMATION ABOUT BRAVO AND RHONY? ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT BRAVO IS SO CONTROLLING OF IT’S HOUSEWIVES?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE PHOTOS OF RAMONA ON VACATION!
Sonja Morgan, the sex-crazed Real Housewives of New York star recently got the opportunity of a lifetime. The Bravolebrity was tapped to play hostess to firefighter models from Nation’s Bravest for Rusk’s “Being Sexy” Product Sneak-Preview! Sonja also promises that the upcoming season of RHONY will be the best yet. I’ll believe it when I see it!
It’s no surprise that Sonja was thrilled at the opportunity to ogle some hottie firefighters. “I have worked over the years with Katherine Kostreva who produces the charitable calendar featuring the nation’s sexiest firemen,” Sonja informed OK Magazine. “I once attended an event of hers with local FDNY firefighters to benefit the ASPCA, a charity near and dear to my heart. I support animals, artists, the LGBT and children. I also admire what these men do to keep our families safe and let’s be honest… they are HOT!” Indeed, that’s the important thing!
And since Sonja is ALLLL about sex, she shared what’s sexy to her. “Intelligence, confidence, power, humility, sense of humor and an ability to take care of his home.”
As for how Housewives is going with the new additions, Sonja is excited for the new season which is currently filming. “Every season is so different because our lives are rapidly changing at all times,” she explained. “This season will be the best season ever. TRUST ME!”
Sonja also shared that she spent her holiday vacationing in Palm Beach, Fl. Lucky lady!
Speaking of holidays, Jill Zarin apparently survived a power outage by the light of her Menora! While she was vacationing in Aruba a Christmas day blackout at the Aruba Surf Club Marriott caused her to grab the candelabra she packed for Hanukkah celebrations and light up!
“My Hanukkah menorah saved me.” Jill told the NY Post, “I have the craziest stories. It’s unfortunate that the cameras don’t follow me anymore.” Right — didn’t she just say in a recent interview that being on reality show turned her into a “monster“?
Jill said she put the emergency lighting in her grandchildrens’ room so they wouldn’t be in the dark. Sadly for Jill the power outage prevented her from hearing her name announced as a guest judge on Top Chef! “I couldn’t even watch myself on ‘Top Chef,’ ” Jill lamented.
Wait — Why exactly is she judging Top Chef? Does this mean La Zarin will be judging this season’s finale? Say it ain’t so!
[Photo Credits: WENN.com]
DO YOU THINK THIS WILL BE THE BEST SEASON YET OF RHONY? WHAT ON EARTH IS JILL DOING JUDGING TOP CHEF?
Jill Zarin loves her some media attention! Nary a day goes by without Jill getting some press or giving an interview. And sure she is spreading the word about Skweeze Couture, but for someone who claims to be over her appearance on Real Housewives of New York she has a difficult time not talking about it! I guess it is her claim to fame…
In the latest, Jill spoke to Rob Shuter via his HDNet show Naught But Nice With Rob and talked about how she’s changed since leaving the show. “Whatever I say no one will believe me, but I never lie. I am so happy to be off that show,” Jill starts off by saying, adding that she’s sad to lose her paycheck!
As to what’s different now that she is no longer beholden to Bravo, Jill insists she’s back to being “me”. “I got my happy back,” she explains. “I didn’t realize it when I was in it, but I think I became like a monster to the people around me because I was under so much stress.”
Jill goes on to describe the filming process as leaving the ladies “strung out,” due to stress. “It just takes so much energy; this manipulation, of trying to figure out whose team you’re on and who’s your friend and who’s your enemy. It just sucks up all the air in the room,” Jill elaborates.
To illustrate how happy she is, Jill explains that at a recent dinner party for her birthday (which was attended by maybe “life-long” friend Kelly Bensimon) her guests kept telling Jill how much she’s “changed,” with her friends mentioning that she was calm and relaxed. Former cast mate LuAnn de Lesseps was also due to attend Jill’s birthday, but arrived too late because of a scheduled filming.
Jill also mentioned her plans to film her own reality show, claiming it will be filled with less drama! But the question is will there be any takers?
“There won’t be any puppeteers pulling strings to make fights, and there won’t be jealousy,” explained Jill. “There wont be those kinds of things that change who people are. I just really want to do my own thing. I just really want to be with my family. I had a lot of anxiety. I had no control and I’m a little bit of a control freak.”
While the world awaits the verdict on whether any network will pick up Jill’s proposed show, she will be returning to TV on Dec. 25, as a judge on “Iron Chef” alongside Art Smith.
In other RHONY news, Jill may not miss being part of the cast but it seems her former cast mates certainly miss her, surprisingly. “It’s different. The girls are different so it’s a totally different experience,” LuAnn said, speaking to HollywoodLife. ”I always miss the girls. We worked a long time together. You miss people you’re comfortable with.”
Ramona Singer agreed, commenting: “It’s sad not to have all the girls that I grew up on the show with. We all did this together. But change can be good.” Admitting that she misses fellow blonde Alex McCord the most, Ramona promised the upcoming season will still be good! While she isn’t revealing who’s in and who’s out as far as casting, saying: “We’re not allowed to talk about the new girls,” Ramona promises, “It’s going to be a great show [though].”
[Photo Credit: WENN.com]
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT JILL IS HAPPY TO BE AWAY FROM RHONY? ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT SHE ADMITTED THE SHOW TURNED HER INTO A MONSTER? DO YOU THINK RAMONA AND LUANN REALLY MISS THEIR FORMER CO-STARS?
Casting drama is nothing new for Real Housewives of New York. In the latest upset to plague the show, a potential new Housewife was given the axe after her husband was charged with investment fraud. But why? It makes for such interesting television!
The NY Post is reporting that Annie Churchill was on a short list of contenders to be added to the newly revamped Season 5 cast when producers discovered a dirty little secret; her husband Andrew Albert was arrested and charged with grand larceny and fraud after several investors accused him of using over $600,000 collected for a proposed online-shopping website for personal expenses. Wow! Here comes the NY version of Taylor Armstrong!
According to sources the network made the decision to avoid mingling with anyone else facing criminal charges given Russell Armstrong‘s recent suicide, thus Annie was given the boot. Michael Farkas a lawyer for Andrew confirmed that Bravo decided not cast Annie in the wake of what happened adding that his client is completely innocent and currently working to fight the charges, which he claims are “baseless.” Although Annie is not included in the cast full-time, her rep is claiming she may still make a small appearance in the upcoming season.
Bravo is not commenting on the latest gossip. “We haven’t finished shooting this season yet, so we haven’t made any kind of casting decisions for season five yet,” a rep for the network stated.
In other RHONY news one of the new Housewives has a famous relative! Fran Dresher is known for her role as the nanny turned housewife on The Nanny, but now she’s also gaining some attention for being the cousin of new RHONY Housewife Aviva Drescher. Speaking to the Huffington Post‘s Rob Shuter, Fran talks about how reality TV isn’t really her cup of tea, but she isn’t going to pull a Real Housewives of New Jersey and start some televised family drama over the ordeal.
“I would never [do a reality show],” Fran told Rob, adding that she’s been approached several times to become the subject of one! “During the times that reality was so big, sitcoms were so not en vogue. ‘We should do a reality show with you,’ [I was told] and I said no,” Fran relays. “First of all, I don’t like them. It appeals to the lowest common denominator. It’s not really reality, because they have to have conflict in them to have people sitting there.” Wow! She really, really doesn’t like them.
“I’ve never flipped a table in my life,” Fran added with a laugh. “I’m scared to admit, but one of my cousins is one of the new ‘Housewives’ of New York and yesterday we had my book party at Dylan’s Candy Bar. … Well, I said hello and we talked a little bit.”
When asked if she keeps in touch with any of her former co-stars, the ditzy model replied: “Luann I speak to and Jill I talk to. We were cast mates, not really friends.”
Interesting, considering that in a recent interview with AVENUE Magazine, Kelly revealed that one of the positives of participating in the show was making a “life-long” friend in Jill. Jill agreed, telling the mag, “Our friendship is real. She’s the most loyal, good friend you could ever count on. She’s such a hard worker.” The two have also been photographed together post-Housewives. So which is it, Kelly? Friends or not?
THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST CASTING DRAMA? WAS BRAVO RIGHT TO AXE ANNIE CHURCHILL? DO YOU WANT TO SEE FRAN DRESCHER MAKE AN APPEARANCE ON HOUSEWIVES? DO YOU BELIEVE KELLY AND JILL ARE FRIENDS OR NOT?