The Real Housewives is one of the first reality TV series that was launched by Bravo. Shows like Desperate Housewives and Peyton Place inspired the show and it seeks to showcase the lives of upper-class women.
The Real Housewives revolves around the life of Southern California women who live in luxurious homes. The show was originally announced as The Real Housewives of Orange County.
There are multiple series of The Real Housewives, each of which showcases the lives of women living upper class lifestyles in various places – from Dallas and Potomac to New York City and more. Bravo has put a different spin on the format every time a new season arrives, but the core concept of the show has remained the same.
At the time of writing, a new season is rumoured to be set in Nashville, Tennessee or New Orleans. However, we do not have a release date just yet. If the ratings drop at any point, rumour has it that the show will put on an All-Star edition featuring the top eight housewives from across the board.
The show takes a voyeuristic look at the lives of rich housewives as they go about getting plastic surgery, shopping, hitting financial crises and generally living lavishly. The show strives to showcase the struggles of housewives who deal with job losses, mortgage payment defaults, marriage struggles and more.
Some of the most elite businesswomen, professionals and ex-athletes have been part of the show. The series normally focuses on a specific city for each season, with the very first iteration of the show focusing on the lives of Orange County women. It eventually moved on to New York City, Dallas and other cities across the USA.
There have been 14 seasons so far and the show is currently on hiatus due to the ongoing global pandemic. It is set to resume production in the coming months. The fourteenth and latest season aired in August 2019 but there is no word yet on when season 15 will drop.
Cast and characters
The first season of the show featured Jeana Keough, Lauri Peterson, Jo De La Rosa, Kimberly Bryant and Vicki Gunvalson. It showcased the lives of the five original housewives who lived in the luxurious Coto de Caza houses.
Byrant was replaced by Tammy Knickerbocker in season 2 before the cast was completely overhauled for season 3. Over the course of each season, housewives have been replaced and new faces have been added to the cast. The latest season features Brauwyn Windham-Burke as one of the cast members. There have been guest appearances from the likes of Alexis Bellino and Meghan King Edmonds as well.
The filming locations for this show include New York City, Atlanta, Washington DC, Beverly Hills, Dallas, Potomac, Salt Lake City, New Jersey and of course Orange County (which was home to the first season).
The production of the show – including its various editions which take place across the United States and its spin-off series – are handled by Bravo. The show was originally set in Orange County but it moved on to other cities over time.
Only the Atlanta version of the show is currently live at the time of writing. With most viewers in self-isolation due to the ongoing pandemic, the New York and Beverly Hills versions may be pushed forward due to massive demand.
That said, Bravo programming executives have indicated that production will not return to full capacity anytime soon. Indeed, Andy Cohen, who is a former Bravo programming executive, has moved on to shows like Watch What Happens Live.
Episodes and reception
Since the show typically has multiple series airing simultaneously, the reception for each of them tends to vary dramatically. However, the reviews from both critics and audience alike tend to be fairly positive. Currently, the New York City variant of the show is the most popular – despite Orange County being the very first to air on TV.
Multiple leading executives have claimed that The Real Housewives of New York City is the show that saved Bravo, and TRP ratings suggest the same. The franchise as a whole ranks consistently highly as part of Bravo’s programming schedule and there are up to 3.7 million people watching each episode of the various series in general. Even the lowest ratings do not tend to go below 1.5 million viewers.
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