Bravo and Aviva Drescher have just inked a deal for the "Real Housewives of New York" socialite to return for season 6, an individual with knowledge of the negotiations told TheWrap.
The deal closed with just two weeks to go before shooting starts on the series.
Drescher, who had her leg amputated at age six in a farm accident, joined last season. She quickly made her mark for speaking her mind and getting into huge arguments with the other women — specifically Ramona Singer.
Drescher joins already-confirmed returning cast members Singer, Carole Radziwill and Heather Thomson.
Original cast member LuAnn DeLesseps and Sonja Morgan (who joined on season 3) have yet to strike a return deal with the network. Reportedly, they are wrangling for higher paychecks.
In 2011, Bravo caused quite a stir when it fired Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Kelly Killoren Bensimon and Cindy Barshop — the franchise’s biggest recasting ever. Radziwill, Thomson and Drescher replaced them on season 5 in an effort to pump up the series' energy.
The new cast configuration didn’t improve ratings. Actually, season 5 saw double-digit losses in the ad-coveted 18-49 demo and was the series’ second-lowest rated season.
In response, Bravo executive and “Watch What Happens Live” host Andy Cohen stated that the network had expected that ratings would decline.
Update: A Bravo insider clarified that Drescher, Singer, Radziwill and Thompson had actually only agreed in principle, but had not closed their deals to return.