You might have heard by now and if you haven’t, let me fill you in on the exciting news. Andy Cohen just announced that Real Housewives of New York will be separated into two franchises. First, they will completely reboot the mainstay franchise, which premiered back in 2008. While Andy hasn’t confirmed any casting decisions, it sounds like they are looking for a completely new cast. Secondly, they will add another extension of the franchise that will feature previous RHONY cast members. It doesn’t have a title yet, but around Bravo, they are calling it RHONY: Throwback or RHONY: Legacy. Also no word on casting yet or where the show will appear. But Bravo now has the option to work franchises into Peacock.
But how did we get here? Andy spoke with Variety and explained just how season 13 changed the entire trajectory of the franchise. Andy was asked about when he realized the season wasn’t working. He reluctantly admitted, “I think that we’ve put last season of RHONY under so much scrutiny and trial that I hate to rehash. When we were shooting, we only had five Housewives, we were shooting during COVID, we were tremendously limited as to where we could shoot. And this was a show that was really shot differently than all the other cities, because New York City is very much a huge character in the show.”
He added, “That all aside, I think that if you look at any series, where the ratings are declining week to week as the series goes on, and the viewer feedback is growing disenchanted on social media, etc. I think that was a big red flag for us. Because this is a beloved show. And that’s part of the reason why it’s taken a bit for us to just sit with this and figure out how we want to make this right, and make it a gift to the fans, which I think this will wind up being.”
One has to wonder how big of a role the ratings played in the cancellation of the RHONY reunion. Or was it the allegations against Ramona Singer of racially inventive comments, which led to an internal investigation? Ramona has emphatically denied the claims. Either way, cancelling the reunion really was unprecedented. In addition, it took Bravo so long to announce it would be cancelled, fans didn’t even care. But the RHONY finale of the season was in September. So ultimately, it gave Bravo plenty of time to think through what would happen next.
According to Andy, “It’s been long and thought out, but in truth, we really just started having the most serious conversations over the last few months. Because we also just wanted to sit and get some air and recalibrate. This is a show that’s gone back into production very closely after the reunion every year. That’s why we also just wanted to give everybody a minute to live their lives. And then it let us figure it out, if we could do anything — which we can — what would we do?”
He noted, “We’ve also seen the success of [Real Housewives] Ultimate Girls Trip. That informed the idea of doing this throwback, that’s allowed us to say, ‘Well, wait a minute, there is a big desire for an element of nostalgia.'” In addition, fans were talking about watching the good old days of RHONY. They even did rewatches on other streaming services. I can personally attest to doing that and there really was reality tv magic in the early seasons. Said Andy, “And I heard from more people over the last two years that they have rewatched RHONY from the beginning. And how much they love early seasons of RHONY. I just think there are a lot of people who hold this particular franchise very dear to their hearts, and also have a lot of nostalgia about it. I think that this throwback version will be playing on that. This is why I think both ideas are a gift to the fans.”
But when it comes to the cast of season 13, Andy fully confessed that they have been anxiously waiting for news. He revealed, “I was hearing from them a lot last year. But I have to say, especially given that this group is usually a group that is very like, ‘When are we starting? What’s the plan?’ You know, they’re aggressive! And they’re Type A.” Andy concluded, “They’ve really all respected the fact that we’re gonna figure this out, and we’ll let you know. So they’ve been very relaxed, especially considering that this is a group of people that I would not necessarily typically characterize as relaxed.”
TELL US – WHAT DO YOU THINK WENT WRONG WITH SEASON 13 OF RHONY? DID YOU STOP WATCHING? SHOULD THE FRANCHISE BRING ANYONE BACK OR START FRESH WITH A WHOLE NEW CAST?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]