No one at Bravo is discussing the future of Real Housewives Of New Jersey, which remains in limbo while Teresa Giudice completes her 15-month prison sentence. Despite the uncertainty where Teresa is concerned, producers are “quietly” putting plans in motion for a seventh season and looking to bring celebrity names into the mix by possibly adding Tiki Barber‘s scandal-plagued wife Traci Lynn Johnson!
“They don’t know where it stands with Teresa doing the show or not doing the show or when she’s getting out,” an insider explains. “So they’re prepping for either way. Anyway, they need to shake up the cast — last season’s cast was terrible.”
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Lately, the strategy at Bravo has been to boost Housewives franchises by adding celebrity’s wives or going the uber-wealthy route when casting new ladies. RHONJ’s dismal ratings last season have prompted Bravo to try that direction with the once extremely popular RHONJ. And with Teresa’s absence, it seems the perfect opportunity to change things!
Andy Cohen is “committed” to RHONJ and an LA-based casting agent has reportedly been on the lookout for “fabulous” New Jersey ladies wanting “FANTASTIC exposure” (although she won’t say what show she’s casting for, she does confirm it’s for a major cable network). There have been various casting notices popping up all over the Garden State seeking “new blood” for 5 potential spots, reports NJ.com, which adds that RHONJ generally starts filming in the summer and fall of each year.
As for which, if any of the current Housewives are returning for the yet undecided seventh season, Melissa Gorga is the only “confirmed” castmate say sources. Dina Manzo has made it known she has no interest in another season, and the aforementioned disastrous cast from season 6 is not wanted back. Instead Bravo wants higher-profile names and a woman who already has some buzz surrounding her. Enter: Traci Lynn Johnson.
An insider tells NY Daily News that a casting director for Sirens Media, who produces RHONJ, was given until the end of February to secure a new “anchor” for the series, to work alongside Melissa (who will remain as a tie-in for Teresa’s expected return) to rebuild RHONJ. Melissa appeared on WWHL this week, which points to confirm that Bravo is keeping her on the roster and fresh in the minds of viewers.
Insiders reveal that last week Sirens and Bravo execs met to discuss Traci as a potential castmate and negotiations are underway to get her under contract. Everyone believes Traci will be a perfect fit due to her “big, over-the-top personality,” but also because she isn’t squeamish about scandal – something RHONJ is obviously known for!
Traci earned a reputation as a homewrecker because the former NBC intern met her hubby Tiki, then a host on “Today,” while he was married. The retired NY Giant’s running back ended up leaving his 8-months pregnant wife Ginny to shack-up with Traci (he lost his Today gig in the process)! Tiki and Traci married in 2012, just 8 days after his divorce was finalized. Dang – I mean RHONJ loves a cheating drama, but DANG!
Tiki and Traci have a daughter named Brooklyn. Neither has commented on the rumor, but a source close to the couple says they have been interested in reality TV for some time.
Gia tweeted support for her father writing, “honestly hilarious how people go out of their way to make my family look bad..#nicetryppl” The budding pop star, later added “I need a break from all this.. a new beginning.” This makes me sad for Gia, she’s 14, and forced to deal with so many adult issues.
Joe has adamantly denied the allegations and claims Teresa was well-aware he was in Atlantic City “on business” while he was supposedly cheating on his incarcerated wife. Melissa also described Joe’s dedication to his daughters in Teresa’s absence as “heartwarming.”
TELL US – WILL TRACI BE A GOOD ADDITION TO RHONJ? SHOULD GIA BE PUT IN THE POSITION TO DEFEND JOE?
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