Is Bravo Worried As RHONY Ratings Continue To Decline? Plus Kelly Bensimon Responds To Bethenny’s Comments; Claims Their Issues On TV Weren’t “Real!”

Last week Bethenny Frankel addressed her feelings on Real Housewives of New York. The newly minted talk show host admits that she occassionally tunes into the show that made her a household name and that she wishes nothing but the best for former co-star nemesis Kelly Bensimon.

“I wish Jill [Zarin] the best. I wish Kelly the best,” Bethenny told the audience. “Honestly, it was an experience that I’ll never forget and the year with the first five of us is definitely very nostalgic.” A video of Bethenny discussing her time on RHONY is below.

Well, because Kelly is still apparently very concerned about Bethenny and because she really doesn’t have anything else going on wants to keep her name in the press, she is responding to Bethenny’s comment with some niceties of her own.


“She didn’t have to do that. That was really nice of her,” Kelly told in response. “And I think that for the Real Housewives brand, that’s amazing.”

Surprisingly, Kelly seems to have blocked out Scary Island among other things because she claims working with Bethenny was nothing but positive. Ok – when did she undergo electric shock therapy? “I had a great time filming with her. We had sick ratings. I never had animosity toward her.”

“You shouldn’t have animosity with people you work with. That’s not cool,” Kelly adds. “You should have animosity toward an ex-boyfriend, not people you work with.”

Additionally, Kelly blames the fans for creating something out of nothing concerning her so-called disagreements with Bethenny – and she claims their issues were all for TV ! “I think it’s really, really nice to acknowledge that to her new fan base, and I appreciate it for whatever it is It’s very sweet of her.”

Kelly continues, “But at the same time, I find it very concerning, because it’s a show for entertainment so for people to make a big deal out of an altercation for television, in all honesty, it’s incredibly concerning for me….that people actually think that something for television is real.”

“I wish people would stop making it something it wasn’t,” Kelly muses. “I always wish her well. It was a job to me. I wish people would stop making it something it wasn’t. I always wish her well.”

And Kelly claims that being on a reality show was something she actually enjoyed. Could’ve fooled us! “It was a great time in my life, I had so much fun with it. It was a platform for me.” Wow – so either Kelly is an idiot savant or she totally loves manipulating the press and trying to make our heads spin. Or she’s just still a complete nutjob!

Moving on from vintage RHONY to current RHONY, ratings continue to be dismal for the revamped version of the show and apparently Bravo is starting to worry!

Neilsen ratings for the first two episodes show that, compared to last season, viewership is down 21% in total viewers from almost 2 million watchers to 1.6 million. That’s very low – particularly for a cable show that has the Housewives clout.

Based on comparative numbers, this season is down a total of 22% in the 25-54 viewer demographic. Accordingly the show is bringing it’s lowest seasonal numbers since 2009. Eeks.

With ratings remaining poor, network executives are starting to worry – and they are looking to pass the buck on who is responsible for the pathetic performance! “The new girls don’t seem to be working, and Bravo is concerned,” a show insider dishes to NY Daily News.

And apparently Andy Cohen, once the tour de force behind the RHONY magic, is distancing himself from the now imploding franchise to focus on his own pursuit of fame. “This is the first season he’s not editing. He’s busy with other projects and doesn’t have time to go over hours of film,” the source reveals. Andy allegedly “doesn’t care if the ratings for this season tank” as he has “backed away from the show.”

“The best thing they could do is bring back Jill and Alex [McCord] and pretend this season never happened,” says Jill a source. I COMPLETELY disagree – bringing them back would be yet another season of the same old nonsense that is staid and tired. Jill needs to get over herself. Oh, did I say that out loud?

All but proving she’s the mysterious source from the above comment, Jill chimed in to agree that she should never have been fired in the first place!

“I’m happy that these new women are enjoying their fame; I’ve reached out and offered [Bravo] any support they need,” she told NYDN. And Jill claims she is still confused about why she was pink slipped. “You don’t change what works,” she quipped, failing to realize that last season’s show didn’t work.

Denying that there’s any concern over the numbers or the new direction of the show, a Bravo spokesperson responded: “We’re very happy with  the performance of the first two episodes especially given its new time slot and the current competitive period with over 200 original shows launched in June alone. We love both existing and new cast members.”

My two cents: Perhaps Jill had a point that you can’t just completely scrap 3/4 of the cast in one season and expect people to tune in as ecstatically – even though viewers begged for the change.

I personally believe ratings will pick up as the season continues. The show has started off slower, with a steady introduction of the new ladies and keeping the drama on simmer, but previews and spoilers promise increased mayhem as the season continues. With several upcoming trips (THREE for this season) along with what looks like Ramona Singer‘s antics, I have a feeling viewers will be reeled in and the numbers will improve.

I also think once viewers get to know the new women, alliances will be formed. The first season of any Housewives franchise always has lower numbers as viewers decide who they like and don’t like. I have faith that things will turn around!