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Luann De Lesseps

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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Well, girls and boys… it finally happened. After months of build-up, Bravo unleashed the New New York and we finally caught a glimpse of Real Housewives of New York without Jill Zaaaaaaaaarin. For those of you who never thought you’d live to see the day – rejoice – but sadly it seems Pinot Singer has hopped right on up into the bitter, negative, biddy role that Jill so recently vacated. Dangit, Pinot!

Last night we were treated to some delightful new blood, and while Sonja Morgan was in good spirits and ready to move on and make new friends but keep the old, LuAnn de Lesseps, Countess no more and Pinot were still circling each other like round the UES rosie with the same old axe to grind. Sonja said the only thing worse than stale brioche at a party is stale guests… well meet your stale guests. Are people still eating brioche?

Things open with LuAnn and newbie Aviva Drescher pretending they’re long lost friends and doing lunch. Let’s just call it what it is – they’ve met each other a total of two times and Bravo is forcing them to interact as buddies to stack the odds. The only interesting thing that came out of this to-do was the revelation that Aviva’s ex-husband Harry has quite the active social life  - so active that he’s dated and most likely boinked LuAnn and Sonja.

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I really think I’m going to enjoy the newest additions to Real Housewives of New York…especially Carole Radziwill.  The widow and journalist (not to mention princess and bestselling author) with close ties to the timeless Kennedy clan will be joining Countess LuAnn and Pinot Singer on the upcoming season.  She was recently interviewed by the New York Post where she described herself as the “unlikely housewife.”  I like her already.

Calling the show a “job offer”, Carole explains, “Critical acclaim is great, and it gets you the corner table, but commercial success pays the bills.”  With the women of New York rumored to be making $500,000 this season, I’d say that’s not too terrible of a payday.

While many ladies try to finagle their way into the franchise by befriending wives or crashing cocktail parties (an estimated 500 women tried out for Beverly Hills), Carole had no desire to pursue reality television.  Of her friend and Bravo King Andy Cohen, she says,“I could probably count on one hand the number of conversations I’ve ever had about the ‘Housewives’ show with him.”

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While Jill Zarin and Alex McCord are officially out of the Real Housewives of New York City, they won’t go quietly into that famewhore night and continue to draw attention to themselves, no matter what. We’ll start with the grossest news. Somehow, Alex was able to get press for a very odd passage in her “urban parenting” book, which was released two years ago, Little Kids Big City. They weren’t getting enough hate messages on Twitter, so they decided to promote the passage below, describing husband Simon VanKempen‘s reaction to the au naturale birth of son, François. Alex describes her natural birth as:

“Once he was finally out of my body, I experienced a tsunami of endorphins that was almost orgasmic and I understand completely the stories other women have written about ecstastic birth. Simon was sitting behind me at the point of birth, and later when we untangled ourselves he discovered he’d actually ejaculated though hadn’t felt any of the normal lead-up to that.”

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As par for the course, the children of the Real Housewives of any location are always dragged into the mess that is the show – and sometimes being on TV isn’t so fantastic. Glamour Magazine recently interviewed the adult daughters of some of our favorite (and least favorite) Bravo moms. The girls were candid about their experiences on the show and how it has affected their lives.

Lauren Manzo, Pandora Sabo (née Todd), Briana Culberson (née Wolfsmith), Tierra Fuller, and Victoria de Lesseps spoke out about what it’s like to be on reality television and how they’ve handled their moms’ dramatic experiences on the shows.

Interestingly, some of the girls would love to do reality TV in their own right, while others have absolutely no desire. “I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t get caught up in being on TV for a little bit,” Lauren admits. “I said to my boyfriend, Vito, a while ago, ‘I found a ring that I want. Go buy it, and we’ll get married on TV.’ And then I said to myself, That’s not what I want right now. It doesn’t make sense to get married. I need to become a woman on my own. And I don’t think I could do that right now with a ring on my finger.”

Pandora, who did get married on TV, and whose wedding was featured in last season’s finale of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, confesses she had to seriously consider letting such a personal moment be played out in public. “I’m a more private person than my mother is. So when Jason proposed, we had to think about how we were going to do this wedding,” Pandora shares.

“My mother’s [Lisa Vanderpump] life is on television, but mine really isn’t. I didn’t mind that the planning was on TV, because, to be honest, it’s quite nice to have a record of all that. Who else gets to relive picking out their invitations or their bachelorette party?”

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This season of Real Housewives of New York will be a battle of The Veterans vs. The Virgins. It’s a classic case of make new friends, but keep the old (one is silver and the other’s gold…). Bravo has released the official cast photos and bios – along with the very juicy and drunken trailer. It seems like some of these ladies are harkening back to the days before middle age hit them, as they are putting the drinks away like MTV spring breakers! Or Bachelorettes on another popular show!

The official press release warns us:  “The city that never sleeps is about to get a real embarrassment wake up call.  Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, Sonja Morgan and Ramona Singer welcome Aviva Drescher, Carole Radziwill and Heather Thomson as they navigate their hectic lifestyles of jam-packed social climbing social calendars, bickering and fighting careers, behaving like children and drunken antics across the globe city living.”  Oh, I just can’t wait for the wine-soaked fun and pinot-filled outbursts!

SEE THE OFFICIAL CAST PHOTOS AND BIOS BELOW!

And speaking of Pinot, it seems my favorite train wreck and yours, Pinot Singer, caused quite the problems this season! The trailer features newbie Aviva proving she’s perfect for this line of work, as she calls her “white trash!” Bwhahahahahaha! Seriously – I laughed for five minutes when I saw that. Sometimes the truth hurts!

Aviva is speaking to the NY Observer about the shocking new season! Aviva describes the experience of reality television, and being forced to socialize intimately with women she scarcely knew. “It was like an sociological study: we were essentially forced to make the kind of friends over the course of four months that would usually take you four years to become that close to.”

She also adds that her friendship with Ramona is pretty much kaput. She says the show – and specifically the “white trash” scene, made her realize that “friendships can certainly take up and downs,” Aviva explained. “And in that way the show—art, in quotation marks—imitated life. Ramona and I did not start out that way.”

Aviva mentions that she began the season friends with Ramona, “and…well…I can’t say the same for the end of the season.” Wow! You can learn more about Aviva below!

Pinot, herself, is speaking out about the drama amongst her castmates. At the recent Bravo Upfront Event she confirmed things are already rocky as she tells Wetpaint “There’s one woman here I’m not even talking to!” When pressed for details about whom, she gave the Bravo PR sponsored answer like a good little Housewife. “If you watch this season, it won’t be hard to figure out,” she assured us.

In fact, things start to go bad in the season premiere episode! From the press release: “Sonja kicks things off with a party to mingle with Aviva, Carole and Heather. They all seem to hit it off …until Ramona arrives. And as they say, with new friends come new revelations — in this case, Aviva learns that a couple of her “new” friends have had relations with her ex-husband. Meanwhile, Heather and Carole try to figure out who to trust and not.” Wowzers!

Real Housewives of New York premieres on Monday, June 4th at 9pm ET/PT on Bravo. Below are the cast photos and bios! Warning: Photoshop was applied liberally!

TELL US – EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW SEASON? THOUGHTS ON THE CAST PHOTOS? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW HOUSEWIVES?

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Andy Cohen

Ok, Bravoians – get ready for the new line-up! Bravo has officially released the list of upcoming shows and it includes eleven all-new reality shows and eight returning gems!  Among the most exciting news is that Real Housewife of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump has scored her own show about celebrity hotspot SUR and Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burrussspin-off The Kandi Factory has also been added to the permanent roster!

Here’s the list of what’s to come!

“Silicon Valley” Bravo captures the intertwining lives of young professionals on the path to becoming Silicon Valley’s next great success stories.

“Life After Top Chef” For the first time cameras are taken outside of the “Top Chef” kitchen and into the lives of Bravo’s most beloved former cheftestants as they reach milestones in their personal lives and culinary careers. From opening their own restaurants to expanding their growing franchises, viewers will follow Jen Carroll in Philadelphia, Richard Blais in Atlanta, Fabio Viviani in Los Angeles and Spike Mendelsohn in DC.

“Below Deck” The upstairs and downstairs worlds collide when this young and single crew of “yachties” live, love and work together onboard a luxurious mega yacht while tending to the ever-changing needs of their wealthy, demanding charter guests.

“Huh?” Ever wonder who is behind those hilarious cat memes? Bravo goes inside the office of Ben Huh and his eclectic staff at icanhascheezburger.com, one of the largest humor publishers on the Internet known for their popular LOLs and FAILs.

“Miss Advised” These single relationship experts can’t seem to practice what they preach as Amy Laurent in New York, Emily Morse in San Francisco and Julia Allison in Los Angeles struggle to stay afloat in the deep end of the dating pool.

“Newlyweds: The First Year”From the moment they say “I do” to their one-year anniversary, cameras capture diverse couples across the coasts experiencing the trials and tribulations of their first year of marriage.

“Gallery Girls” Viewers are introduced to seven young women who dream of living a chic and fashionable existence in New York City. All share a passion for art, but are divided amongst their Manhattan and Brooklyn lifestyles with vastly different attitudes and tastes towards fashion, art and men.

“LA Shrinks” It takes one to treat one! The professional and personal lives of dynamic experts are exposed as they counsel a wide array of clients at some of the top private practices in Los Angeles.

“Decades” Renowned boutique owners, Christos Garkinos and Cameron Silver, show off their exclusive and glamorous world of vintage couture filled with Givenchy, Balenciaga and Chanel.

The official preview trailer for all the new reality gems is below!

And now for the list of returning shows. I was surprised to see Chef Roblé & Co and Pregnant in Heels (although I kinda liked that show) coming back. Also returning is Flipping Out, Tabatha Takes Over, Top Chef (including Last Chance Kitchen), Top Chef Masters  Million Dollar Listing, Million Dollar Decorators, and Inside The Actors Studio – which will feature the cast of Mad Men.

I was very surprised not to see the Rachel Zoe Project on the list!

And branching out, Bravo also announced the arrival of two scripted shows! “22 Birthdays” focuses on the sordid and scandalous activities of a group of parents at an exclusive private school, with each episode centered around an extravagant and lavish birthday party. And “Blowing Sunshine” is set at a fictional private rehabilitation center and follows its staff and high profile patients.

Moving on, last night Andy Cohen hosted the Watch What Happens Live All-Star Party. Among the proceedings was the official unveiling of the three new Real Housewives of New York; which was pretty much reality television’s worst kept secret. Well, it’s official Carole Radziwill, Aviva Drescher, and Heather Thomson will be embarrassing themselves on our TVs very soon!

A preview of the upcoming explosive season was revealed and it appears that the rumors of Pinot Singer not getting along with any of her fellow Housewives are confirmed! She goes to battle with everyone and may soon find herself on the Jill Zarin side of things if she keeps this up! The new ladies were shown banding together in an act of solidarity against “mean girl” behavior.

Among last night’s surprising events was the conspicuous absence of Teresa Giudice! The entire Real Housewives of New Jersey cast was spotted together on the red carpet and participated in the Housewives East vs. West Battle Royale, but there was no Teresa in sight! It is well established that Teresa is not speaking to any of her castmates and rumors have been swirling that she’s headed for a spin-off following the explosive fourth season, airing later this month!

Also interesting was that Lisa did not sit with her fellow RHOBH castmates and instead took the stage solo for a sit-down with Andy. She also skipped the Housewives battle. Perhaps confirming the casting gossip that Taylor Armstrong and Kim Richards are returning next season was their attendance. Oddly, Brandi Glanville was not in the audience!

Finally, the most troubling events of last night were the musical performances of Melissa Gorga and LuAnn de Lesseps. Now I love you both, but please believe – you cannot sing! Step away from the microphones…

THOUGHTS ON THE NEW SHOWS – WHAT WILL YOU BE WATCHING? ARE YOU EXCITED FOR KANDI AND LISA’S SPIN-OFFS? DID YOU WATCH THE ALL-STAR PARTY LAST NIGHT?

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON FOR THE NEW SHOW PREVIEW TRAILER!

According to a new report, things recently got pretty tense between the stars of the Real Housewives of New York City and Bravo!

The reason? The returning RHONY housewives–Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan and Countess LuAnn de Lessepsfelt filming on the new season was dragging on too long and wanted Bravo to either pay up or wrap it up!

“LuAnn [de Lesseps], Sonja [Morgan] and Ramona [Singer] refused to shoot any scenes at Fashion Week in February, complaining that production was dragging on well past the date that was agreed upon, so they went on strike,” one of the original cast members tells the Huffington Post. “Ultimately, they did return to tape a final few scenes, but it’s not fair that they should have to give up their time, with no extra pay, just so the slower new girls can learn how to tape a TV show.”

The Huffington Post adds that filming typically takes place from September to February, occasionally going one to two weeks over schedule . Ramona was reportedly the first to start the revolt, leading to the other vets Countess Lulu and Sonja to follow suit, in what is quickly becoming the newbies vs. the vets.

“They might call it a strike, but the network sees it more as a little disagreement,” reveals a Bravo insider. “In the end, the ladies that didn’t make themselves available to shoot only hurt themselves, as it means the new girls will get extra airtime.”

The insider goes on to add: “What I can guarantee you is that if Ramona thinks she is going to win by messing with the new ladies, she can think again. These girls are killers.” Meow!

There’s no word yet on when the new RHONY season will premiere. It will be interesting to see how all the drama plays out with the three new additions to the cast, though I still strongly believe Bravo should have kept Alex McCord!

[Photo Credit: Adriana M. Barraza / WENN.com]

TELL US – SHOULD THE HOUSEWIVES BE PAID EXTRA IF FILMING GOES OVER SCHEDULE?

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