Also over the weekend, Huffington Post gossip columnist Rob Shuter, who first broke the news about the RHONY firings back in September, revealed filming is NOT going well on the new season. Apparently there is a lack of drama and Bravo is expected to make some more casting changes! Ai ya ya.
Rob tweeted: “Sad to fear filming on #RHONY not going well. Ladies have travelled to London and Miami to spice it up. Expect more cast changes!”
Indeed, this Miami trip is the second for the housewives as they just took a trip to London not too long ago without Ramona. I can’t say I’m really surprised to hear this news as I stated back in September that getting rid of Jill Zarin was a bad idea. As much as I’m not a fan of Jill, she is equivalent to a Nene Leakes and makes for good TV drama.
I believe getting rid of Kelly Bensimon and Cindy Barshop, while leaving Jill and Alex McCord on the cast and adding 2 to 3 new cast members would have done the trick. While I definitely agree the last season and the reunion got overly nasty and downright ugly, I think Bravo’s firings were a bit too drastic.
Andy Cohenstated back then that the firings were simply giving fans what they wanted. “In the end we listened to the fans, who expressed a desire for new stories and a major change in a direction,” said Andy. But will the fans continue to tune in without enough drama is now the question.
The Huffington Post is also reporting today that Bravo has yet to ask any of the fired housewives to return though the network did discuss having Alex make appearances on the new season right after she was fired. However, Alex reveals she declined Bravo’s offer.
“Before filming began, Bravo and I discussed me making cameos throughout the fifth season,” Alex reveals. “Eventually, I decided against it. I didn’t want to be the backup if things didn’t work out with any of the new girls.” A bit surprised but good for Alex!
[Photos Credit: Pichichi / Splash News]
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE BIKINI PICS? PLUS ARE YOU SURPRISED TO HEAR FILMING IS NOT GOING WELL?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE MORE PHOTOS!
Ramona, who as we know, hawks quite a few products was recently honored at the Stevie Awards for Women in Business as the 2011 Mogul of the Year. Whoa — So, that uh constant Pinot advertising has apparently paid off! A photo of Ramona receiving her award is below.
And to celebrate her success, Ramona did a sit-down with Celebuzz about what it’s like in Pinot-land! Some excerpts from the interview are below!
Do you see yourself as a role model for women?
I actually say, for my daughter [Avery], I’m probably killing her as a role model. We actually discussed this. When I first started the show, I already had my own business for 20 years; I was already self made. Being on the show got my creative juices going, and I said, Let me show my daughter first-hand how you can start up a business. And then another business started, and another business started, and I realized that maybe now I’m raising the bar too high for her – or even for myself! [Laughs]
Did any of the Housewives attend the ceremony with you?
Yes, actually. I had Sonja [Morgan] there, who is my good friend on and off the show, and I had several other Housewives [there] whose whose names can’t be mentioned yet, I don’t think. But we did film it for the show, yes. *(The other Housewives are allegedly Carole Radziwill,Heather Thomson andAviva Drescher).
Did everyone get along?
You know what? We all get along at times and we all don’t get along at times. That’s what happens in life, right?
The Real Housewives of New York City made a lot of headlines when it was announced that Jill Zarin, Cindy Bishop,Alex McCord and Kelly Bensimon would not be returning next season. Has the dynamic of the show changed following their departure?
Obviously, filming the show this season with people not being on that were there last season, and with some other new people [on this season], the dynamics change. I think change is good. I embrace change.
How did you react when you heard the news?
It was a double-edged sword. Part of me was saying, Oh my gosh, It’s going to be sad not to have everyone together again. But the other part of me embraces change. I’m always changing. I’ve changed my businesses, my career, constantly, and I think change is good.
Do you keep in touch with any of the former Housewives?
Alex. Alex and I are still friends.
The show has become known for its big trips. Will there be another trip this season?
We always go on a trip; we’re always going on a trip.
Beyond the Stevie Awards, what will we see from you this season?
Basically, you are going to see me as woman who I think really, truly has it all. I have a marriage going on 20 years. [My husband Mario] is filming more with me this year, and you’ll see how, 20 years later, we still have this love and attraction for each other, and it’s just really wonderful. You’ll see my daughter [Avery] … She’s [now] a junior in high school. She is the apple of my eye, she is just beyond blossoming and she’s just successful in every way … And just my entrepreneurialness and trying to help women. A lot of women are now seeking me out to say, “How can I start my own business?”. I gave a class at the Learning Annex [on] having it all, how I started my business, how anyone can start a business. And I had no connections; I did it with me, myself and I. So, if I can do it, anybody can do it.
Interestingly in the interview Ramona confronted myths that Sonja and her are feuding and that none of her cast mates get along with her; mentioning that they attended the Stevie Awards — although the fact that they filmed it for the show means the other ladies may have been required to attend whether they wanted to or not!
Additionally, Ramona reveals that we can expect the new season to premiere in Spring or Summer of 2012 and she has big plans to branch out into clothing design! Ramona Couture, anyone?
And in other Housewives, well NON-Housewives news, Kelly had a chat with AVENUE magazine about life post-Housewives and she has babies on the brain!
“I definitely do want to have a baby boy,” the 43-year-old Kelly reveals in a sneak peak of the interview featured on RadarOnline. “I definitely want to get married again. I have always wanted to be married. I’ve always wanted to be a wife.”
Kelly is currently divorced from famed photographer Gilles Bensimon who is also the father of her two daughters, Sea and Teddy. Kelly describes her relationship with Gilles, who lives “down the street” from her, as “great” although has no intention of rekindling things “Look, do I want to be married to Gilles? No. Do I adore the ground he walks on? Yes.”
If you really, really want to hear more of what Kelly has to say AVENUE is out on newsstands Dec 5. A sample of Kelly’s photo shoot for the mag is below. She looks good, albeit incredibly photoshopped!
REACTIONS TO RAMONA’S INTERVIEW AND HER COMMENTS ON THE UPCOMING SEASON? DO YOU BELIEVE RAMONA AND SONJA ARE FEUDING? THOUGHTS ON KELLY’S DESIRE TO HAVE MORE CHILDREN?
For those of you that believed the firing of certain Housewives meant the next season of Real Housewives of New York would feature less arguing, cattiness and back-stabbing, you may be out of luck! I mean they kept Ramona Singer on their payroll after all, and allegedly doubled her salary!
The NY Daily News is claiming feuding has already begun amongst the ladies, despite the addition of three new cast members who were supposed to bring a different atmosphere to one of the most popular series in the Housewives franchise. While insiders promise the show will be “totally different than last season,” that doesn’t appear to be the case! Suspected new Housewives Carole Radziwill,Heather Thomson andAviva Drescherapparently wasted no time in choosing sides and waging battles!
“It’s Sonja, LuAnn and Heather vs. Aviva and Ramona,” the source reveals. “LuAnn and Sonja are now the queen bees of the show.” Does this mean an end to the dreaded (re: inappropriate and immature) Ramonja!?
Ramona and Aviva were friends prior to filming with some reports saying Ramona brought her into the show. Avivia’s previous relationship with Pinot have led her to take a “more neutral” stance in forming relationships with her other cast mates. Better watch out Aviva or your first season may be your last (see: Barshop, Cindy)!
A source reveals that one of the new ladies planned a cast-wide trip to London and everyone was included except Pinot! “Everyone was invited but Ramona,” says the source, adding that Ramona may have been excluded because she is getting “the diva-bitch edit this season.”
“Ramona is still a troublemaker,” says the source. “She delivers drama big time” in the upcoming season.
So, while the other Housewives were abroad celebrating freedom from Ramona Singer Pinot Grigio, Ramona soothed her hurt by throwing herself a “raucous” birthday lunch at Manhattan’s Bar Italia. “She had 24 of her closest friends there and did not seem to miss the other housewives one bit,” a guest reported. “So excited! Headed to my birthday luncheon at Bar Italia with 20 of my best girlfriends!!” Ramona Tweeted.
Oddly not included in the guest list was former blonde bestie Sonja – even though the two have birthdays close together! Sources tell the NY Daily News that there is now “tension” between the former besties.
I also noticed neither lady issued a Happy Birthday Tweet! Photos of the party from Ramona’s Twitter are below – noticeably absent are members of the Housewives cast! Noticeably present – some very scary plastic surgery!
Ramona’s party was not without her product promotions as her real friends surprised her with a pinot grigio themed cake. “We had it done by Heather Barranco Dreamcakes. It had an edible bottle of Ramona’s label of pinot and edible pieces from her True Faith jewelry line, all made of out hard sugar. The cake looked and tasted great.” It is pretty amazing!
After guests were forced to imbibe Pinot’s wine for the afternoon Turtle Time came out in full-force as everyone hit the dance floor to relive the glory days of Studio 54. “Ramona had a blast,” says the insider to Wetpaint. “We all did. We spent the afternoon eating, drinking and getting down on the dance floor!”
Did the party also feature a pinot grigio fountain? Because I’m pretty sure that’s all Ramona really wanted for her birthday! A photo of Ramona with her namesake cake and her wine is below. It’s Pinot-licious! If you’re into that sort of thing…
[Photo Credit: Joseph Marzullo/Wenn.com]
THOUGHTS ON THE NEWEST HOUSEWIVES FEUD? ARE YOU SURPRISED THE LADIES ARE FIGHTING ALREADY? ARE YOU AS SHOCKED AS I AM BY THE ALLEGED END OF RAMONJA?
After mostly keeping her comments to herself, LuAnn de Lesseps is finally throwing all that etiquette stuff out the window and as one of the only remaining originals of Real Housewives of New York, she is speaking out on the firings and the future of the show!
Get ready – it’s juicy!
In an exclusive interview with OK!, LuAnn publicly admits she is disappointed by who Bravo decided to fire, specifically Jill Zarin, but she is excited to still be included in the show! “I was happy because I wanted to do the next season, and sad at the same time, because Jill’s the one who initially started the show with me, and is the one who brought me onto the show,” she reveals.
“I really felt bad that she wasn’t coming back. And Kelly [Bensimon]– I’m going to miss the girls, I really am, but I’m excited about the new season and missing the girls. I have great memories with all the women. We made that show what it was from the beginning,” LuAnn muses, waxing nostalgic. Hey, at least one person will be mourning for Jill!
And since she is on a roll, LuAnn continues by reiterating that she’ll really miss Jill! Like a lot. LuAnn, you guys can still do things outside the show. “We’re like a weird, sick family,” she says of relationships to her former co-stars. “Jill and I started the show together with Ramona and Alex. Kelly came on later, but It’s really sad to see them go because it’s something we created and made successful together.”
If you noticed LuAnn has not mentioned Alex McCord being part of the “family,” it’s because LuAnn still hates her! “There was no reason [for her to attack me],” LuAnn quips referring to the argument after Morocco and other comments Alex has made about her in the press. Also noting that she also does not feel bad that Alex was fired.
As for the new cast, LuAnn is “looking forward to the new season,” except for one thing: Ramona Singer! “Ramona is Ra-mean-a,” LuAnn explains. “I see Ramona, and I run the other direction!”
LuAnn hasn’t seen Pinot Singer since the reunion and that’s fine with her! “She invited me to her party and I’m like ‘hello? Come on. Really?! You say that to me, and you expect me to show up and say ‘hi’?’ No. Not after you go after my kids.”
And a furious LuAnn then makes some jabs about Ramona’s drinking habits, after expressing that she is still (yes, STILL!) disappointed that Ramona declined to be in her music video for Chic C’est La Vie! “Turtle Time, Pinot Grigio – but that grossed me out.”
“There’s part of her I love and part of her I hate,” LuAnn continues. “She says the damndest things – it rolls out of her mouth, and she thinks she can get away with it. She’s not going to get away with it, because it’s ‘on’ for the next season,” LuAnn challenges.
As for a very re-vamped Season Five, according to LuAnn filming begins soon! “I’m really excited about the upcoming season, and I will look forward to the girls.” The expected new cast members are Carole Radziwill,Heather Thomson, andAviva Drescher.
Well, the next season better be an improvement over last year, especially considering the pay raise Ramona and LuAnn allegedly received! the Huffington Post is reporting that Bravo inked a contract with LuAnn and Ramona (who let’s be frank, really know how to bring the dramz and the snippy comments) paying them a whopping $500,000 each to film Season Five!
“In the fourth season, LuAnn, Ramona, Jill and Alex all earned $275,000 for 16 regular episodes plus a one-day reunion taping that was shown as two episodes. “So in total it was $275,000 for a total of 18 episodes,” an insider states. “But now that Jill and Alex have been fired, LuAnn and Ramona are getting $500,000 to tape 18 episodes. That’s almost $28,000 an episode.” Come again?!
The reason for Bravo upping the ante? “Nothing causes drama more than asking all the ladies to do the same amount of work and paying some more for it than others,” one of the real housewives themselves reveals!
“Sonja [Morgan] and the new ladies are not earning anything like the money LuAnn and Ramona are and that is already causing tension — plus, a very unlikely friendship between past enemies LuAnn and Ramona,” the housewife insider details. Perhaps LuAnn and Ramona got together in the contract negotiation process! “It’s way too early to know how all this is going to play out, but early meetings have gone great!”
Bravo declined to comment on the upcoming season and the alleged pay raises, but I wouldn’t put it past them to resort to unscrupulous measures to cause drama (See: New Jersey, Housewives, “Real”)!
Thoughts on LuAnn’s interview and comments about Ramona? Obsessed with Jill, much? Are you as surprised as I am that Ramona and LuAnn will be earning half a Mil to be part of RHONY?
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.
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 Morganconfirmed 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?
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 reportingCindy 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?
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 theJill 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?