Benton, Illinois was changed forever after Luann de Lesseps and Sonja Morgan arrived and sprinkled their Real Housewives magic all over the town. However, Luann and Sonja: Welcome to Crappie Lake almost had a very different vibe when it was first being pitched.
Obviously, the show was derived from the concept of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie’s hit series, The Simple Life. But, it turns out, the original concept was more than just a Simple Life derivative. According to an article from The Cut, the Bravo show was originally pitched to Kathy Hilton!
Kathy’s Crappie Lake
The Simple Life premiered on Fox in December 2003. 13 million people turned into the series premiere. Now, 20 years later, the producers have shared an oral history of the show. One of Simple Life’s OG producers and showrunners, Jeff Jenkins, also served as an executive producer for Crappie Lake. So, it’s no wonder why the shows were so similar.
Although it’s been two decades since The Simple Life, audiences still want to watch rich people doing ordinary things. Honestly, that’s half of the fun of the Real Housewives franchise.
One of The Simple Life producers explained, “There is some sort of subversive pleasure in seeing someone who is rich portrayed in this ditzy, infantile way. It really teaches us about the impact of social backgrounds in shaping who we become, our attitudes, our values, even what types of tasks we’re able to do.”
When Jeff originally sought to create Crappie Lake, his original idea was to have it center around Kathy Hilton, making it a true successor to The Simple Life. However, Kathy turned it down because she didn’t want to encroach into Paris’ space.
Years ago, Kathy teased that she and Garcelle Beauvais were in talks to have a project together. Perhaps in an alternative universe, it could have been Kathy and Garcelle: Welcome to Crappie Lake?
Either way, we’re thankful that it was the Real Housewives of New York City legends that descended upon Benton. Luann and Sonja were perfect.
Luann and Sonja: Welcome to Crappie Lake is streaming on Peacock.
TELL US – DO YOU THINK KATHY WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD FIT FOR CRAPPIE LAKE? DO YOU WANT TO SEE ANOTHER SEASON WITH LUANN AND SONJA?