With nine shows in rotation — including three that debuted in the last month (“Beverly Hills,” “Miami” and “Potomac”) — Bravo’s “The Real Housewives” franchise is going strong. But what does the future of the franchise, which kicked off with “Orange County” back in 2006, look like?
During the “Ask Andy” panels at BravoCon held 10 days ago, executive producer Andy Cohen described the current slate as “a very strong period with ‘Housewives’ right now,” adding “there’s no new ‘Housewives’ that have crossed my desk that are in the offing.”
While there are no new “Housewives” shows coming, Cohen did share some details on where the franchise is heading next.
Future ‘Housewives’ will be more inclusive
“There was a mandate a few years ago across the board that Bravo be more culturally inclusive,” Cohen said during his panel. “I think if you look at the make up of the shows, how they changed in the last five years, I think you can see it’s something that Bravo has taken really seriously.”
The casts have indeed become more diverse. When “Salt Lake” launched back in 2020, it was the most racially and religiously diverse cast in “Housewives” history. Over the last three years, “Beverly Hills” added its first Black and Asian cast members and will welcome its second Black housewife this season.
“New York” underwent a full reboot this year, introducing six women from diverse backgrounds.
“I think that that show speaks to how many stories are to tell in New York City,” Cohen said of the reboot, which he deemed “a success.”
“I think it’s because New York is such a melting pot of culture and diversity. You walk down the street and you see 10, 15 different-looking people. That to me is why I love the city so much. I hope other franchises can achieve that,” Jessel Taank, one of the new “RHONY” cast members and the first housewife of South Asian descent, told TheWrap.
Her castmate Brynn Whitfield, who is Black, agreed. “We just had to match New York. It’s not like they had to come up with a new spin or a new way to do it, they just had to open their eyes and put a mirror up to the skyline and match the people, the energy and the vibe.”
“I can’t speak for other franchises but this is the world,” said Garcelle Beauvais, who became the first Black cast member on “Beverly Hills” in 2020. “Anywhere you go there is diversity, so I think it has to be reflected on the show.”
Added Crystal Kung Minkoff, “RHOBH’s” first Asian housewife: “Both Garcelle and I bring our culture and our backgrounds. We do have a cast that is more open: open to conversation, open to mistakes — that’s a big one.”
Welcoming fresh faces
While “O.G.s” (original cast members) like “Beverly Hills’” Kyle Richards and “New Jersey’s” Teresa Giudice anchor their shows, Cohen says bringing in new faces keeps the franchises fresh.
“When you look at some of the new people — the New Jersey housewives and the new housewives in New York obviously — I think you’re seeing a younger generation come in. I think [we’ll continue] to freshen up with younger faces, and try to prepare for the next generation to keep this going.”
“The Real Housewives of Atlanta”
Bravo’s third oldest franchise, which wrapped its 15th season in September, may be due for a refresh.
“Atlanta has some really strong building blocks that are already there. We have a growth opportunity for Atlanta,” Cohen said during BravoCon, hinting at potential changes.
Sanya Richards-Ross, the newest full-time “RHOA” addition, told TheWrap she hopes to stay on the show but understands if a partial or full recasting is done.
“I would love to continue filming and being a part of the community. I love the Bravo universe. It’s wonderful. But the experts gotta do their job, they gotta cast who they think is best. Whatever happens, I’m always going to love the show and support the show,” Richards-Ross said.
“The Real Housewives of Dubai”
Bravo’s only international “Housewives” series will return for a second season in 2024, which was formally announced at BravoCon along with newcomer Taleen Marie Khanoyan. The Season 2 premiere was also screened to attendees.
“I’m so glad that the Dubai women are here,” Cohen said. “And I’m very into the new season. There’s a new housewife Taleen who is incredible. And it’s incredible to see what happens with [Caroline] Stanbury and [Chanel] Ayan’s friendship.”
During the same panel, Cohen revealed there are no other international “Housewives” planned at Bravo.
“The Real Housewives of New Jersey”
Filming on Season 14 is complete with the full Season 13 cast returning, if their attendance at BravoCon is any indication.
The new installment will mark the sophomore seasons for Danielle Cabral and Rachel Fuda (the “newcomers” Cohen mentioned above) and friend Jennifer Fessler.
The season will spotlight the ongoing familial strife between Teresa Giudice and Melissa Gorga, who reportedly filmed most of the season separately.
When asked about how that affects the show, Cohen says “it’s emblematic” of what’s happening in their lives.
“It’s real. It’s very real,” Cohen told TheWrap. “They’re all ensemble shows and we should be able to shoot with as many people we want to shoot with.”
Season 14 of “RHONJ” is expected to premiere in 2024. Bravo has not commented on casting or renewals.
“The Real Housewives of New York”
Bravo has yet to officially comment on a Season 15 renewal for “RHONY,” but Cohen teased it was coming back with the same cast.
“I think that the new ‘RHONY’ is only going to get better next season. They’re such a unit … I love this group,” Cohen said at BravoCon.
The one question mark is Jenna Lyons, who skipped BravoCon entirely.
“I am confident that I want her to return and I hope she does,” Cohen said about Lyons.
Regardless of Lyons’ status, both Jessel Taank and Brynn Whitfield told TheWrap they would welcome a brand new cast member into the fold.
“The Real Housewives of Orange County”
The future of “RHOC” seems to be the biggest question.
Shannon Beador was involved in a DUI 10 days after filming the show’s 17th season reunion in September.
She has since plead no contest to driving under the influence and sentenced to three years unsupervised probation. It remains to be seen if that will affect her status on the show or production, as housewives who have been charged with minor crimes have been historically allowed to film.
“RHOC” has undergone the most turnover of any “Real Housewives” show in recent years, with no new addition lasting more than one season since Season 14 (though previous cast members Heather Dubrow and Tamra Judge both returned in recent years). Newcomer Jennifer Pedranti tells TheWrap she remains hopeful to return for a second season.
Bravo has not commented on casting or renewals.
Recaps from BravoCon are currently available to stream on Peacock.