The Real Housewives of New York City
GenreReality television
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons14
No. of episodes274 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Andy Cohen
  • Megan Estrada
  • Pam Healey
  • Lisa Shannon
  • Lauren Volonakis
  • Barrie Bernstein
  • Anne Swan
  • Rajah Ahmed
  • Kate Murphy
  • Alfonso Rosales
  • Kimmy Cucci
Camera setupMultiple
Running time41–43 minutes (approx.)
Production companies
Original release
NetworkBravo
ReleaseMarch 4, 2008 (2008-03-04) –
present
Related

The Real Housewives of New York City, abbreviated RHONY, is an American reality television series that premiered on Bravo on March 4, 2008. Developed as the second installment of The Real Housewives franchise, it has aired fourteen seasons and focuses on the personal and professional lives of several women residing in New York City.

The cast of the first season consisted of Bethenny Frankel, Luann de Lesseps, Alex McCord, Ramona Singer, and Jill Zarin. Other housewives that starred in multiple of the first thirteen seasons include Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Sonja Morgan, Carole Radziwill, Heather Thomson, Dorinda Medley and Tinsley Mortimer. The series was rebooted for the fourteenth season, making it the first series in the franchise to be completely recast. The cast consisted of Sai De Silva, Ubah Hassan, Erin Lichy, Jenna Lyons, Jessel Taank and Brynn Whitfield.

The success of the show has resulted in three spin-offs: Bethenny Ever After, Bethenny & Fredrik and Luann & Sonja: Welcome to Crappie Lake.

Cast Overview

Seasons 1–4

While in pre-production, the show was initially titled Manhattan Moms. It was later rebranded to become the second installment of the then-new Real Housewives franchise.[1] The first season premiered on March 4, 2008, and starred Bethenny Frankel, Luann de Lesseps, Alex McCord, Ramona Singer and Jill Zarin.[2] Cast members were paid for their appearances on the series. Bethenny Frankel, for example, was paid $7,250 for the season.[3]

Kelly Killoren Bensimon was added to the cast for the second season, which premiered on February 17, 2009.[4] The third season premiered March 4, 2010 and saw the addition of Sonja Morgan as a main cast member, along with Jennifer Gilbert in a recurring capacity. In August 2010, Frankel left the show in order to expand her Skinnygirl product line.[5]

Cindy Barshop replaced Frankel for the show's fourth season, which premiered on April 7, 2011.[6] After the fourth season, McCord, Zarin, Killoren Bensimon and Barshop were effectively let go from the show.[7]

Seasons 5–8

In April 2012, Bravo announced a revamp to the cast for its fifth season, integrating Aviva Drescher, Carole Radziwill, and Heather Thomson into the main cast. The season premiered on June 4, 2012.[8] Production for the sixth season was set to begin on May 8, 2013, but the cast instead chose to go into salary negotiations with Bravo, effectively delaying shooting.[9] Drescher, Morgan, Radziwill, Singer, and Thomson renewed their contract in May 2013, while de Lesseps was demoted to a recurring role.[10][11][12] The sixth season premiered on March 11, 2014, a year later than planned with Kristen Taekman as the latest housewife.[13] Drescher was dismissed after the sixth season.[14]

The seventh season premiered on April 7, 2015, featuring the return of Frankel and addition of Dorinda Medley, while de Lesseps returned in a full-time role. Taekman and Thomson exited the series after the season ended.[15][16][17][18] For the eighth season, which premiered on April 6, 2016, Jules Wainstein was added to the cast, while Thomson returned in a guest appearance, Taekman did not return.[19][20] Wainstein left the show in September 2016 for personal reasons.[21]

Seasons 9–13

The ninth season premiered on April 5, 2017. Tinsley Mortimer joined the cast, while former housewives Thomson and Zarin appeared as guests.[22][23] The tenth season premiered on April 4, 2018, with the cast of the ninth season returning. Drescher, Killoren Bensimon, Thomson and Zarin all appeared as guests.[24][25] It served as Radziwill's final appearance on the show.[26]

The eleventh season premiered on March 6, 2019. Barbara Kavovit joined as a friend of the housewives, and Zarin appeared as a guest.[27] Frankel departed the series after the season for a second time.[28] The twelfth season featured Leah McSweeney joining the cast, which premiered on April 2, 2020.[29] Zarin and Thomson appeared as guests in the twelfth season. Mortimer and Medley announced their departure from the series in June 2020 and August 2020 respectively.[30] Mortimer coincided her announcement with her relocation to Chicago, to pursue her romantic relationship with Scott Kluth,[31] while Medley later stated she was fired from the show.[32]

The thirteenth season premiered on May 4, 2021, with Eboni K. Williams joining the series, in addition to Heather Thomson and Bershan Shaw appearing as friends of the housewives.[33] In September 2021, it was confirmed by Bravo that the thirteenth season reunion was officially cancelled.

In 2022, the Jewish Journal named Frankel and Zarin as two of "The Top 10 Jewish Reality TV Stars of All Time."[34]

Season 14–present

On March 23, 2022, it was announced that following the thirteenth season's negative reception, the showrunners had made the decision to 'most likely' recast the show from scratch for the fourteenth season, and create a second version of the show following some of the show's original housewives, referred to as RHONY: Legacy or RHONY: Throwback.[35] It was later announced that veteran housewives de Lesseps and Morgan would star in their own spin-off series titled Luann & Sonja: Welcome to Crappie Lake.[36] Filming for the spin-off began in July 2022 in the small town of Benton, Illinois.[37] The series premiered on July 9, 2023.[38] The fifth season of The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip, a spin-off featuring various women from The Real Housewives franchise, being billed as 'RHONY Legacy' premiered in December 2023 on Peacock.[39] Taking place in Saint Barthélemy in the same villa that was featured in the fifth season of The Real Housewives of New York, the cast includes Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Luann de Lesseps, Dorinda Medley, Sonja Morgan, Ramona Singer and Kristen Taekman.[39]

In September 2021, it was confirmed by Bravo that the thirteenth season reunion was officially cancelled.[40] In March 2022, it was announced that following the thirteenth season's negative reception, the series would see its primary cast retooled, with members of its original cast relegated to a separate show. Although the series has partially shifted its cast before,[7] this marked the first time that the network had decided to completely replace the cast. As a result, the series’s fourteenth season was billed as a series reboot, with little to no connections to the original cast of the series.[41]

On October 16, 2022, Andy Cohen revealed the new cast for the show's fourteenth season by announcing that Sai De Silva, Ubah Hassan, Erin Lichy, Jenna Lyons, Lizzy Savetsky, Jessel Taank and Brynn Whitfield would be leading the rebooted series.[42] On November 16, 2022, Bravo confirmed that Savetsky was departing the series midway into filming the season.[43] Savetsky claims that the reason behind her decision to quit was that she had received anti-Semitic hate across her social media accounts.[43] The fourteenth season premiered on July 16, 2023.[44]

In March 2024, Bravo announced that the show was renewed for a fifteenth season, with all six housewives from the previous season returning.[45]

Cast

Original cast (2008–2021)

Timeline of cast members

Main cast
Cast member Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Ramona Singer Main
Luann de Lesseps Main Friend Main
Jill Zarin Main Guest
Alex McCord Main
Bethenny Frankel Main Main
Kelly Killoren Bensimon Main Guest
Sonja Morgan Main
Cindy Barshop Main
Carole Radziwill Main
Heather Thomson Main Guest Guest Friend
Aviva Drescher Main
Kristen Taekman Main
Dorinda Medley Guest Main
Jules Wainstein Main
Tinsley Mortimer Main
Leah McSweeney Main
Eboni K. Williams Main
Sai De Silva Main
Ubah Hassan Main
Erin Lichy Main
Jenna Lyons Main
Jessel Taank Main
Brynn Whitfield Main
Friends of the Housewives
Jennifer Gilbert Friend Guest
Barbara Kavovit Guest Guest Friend
Elyse Slaine Guest Friend
Bershan Shaw Friend

Episodes

Main article: List of The Real Housewives of New York City episodes

The Real Housewives of New York City episodes
SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedAverage
Viewers
First airedLast aired
19March 4, 2008 (2008-03-04)May 27, 2008 (2008-05-27)1.20
215February 17, 2009 (2009-02-17)May 28, 2009 (2009-05-28)1.69
318March 4, 2010 (2010-03-04)June 24, 2010 (2010-06-24)2.00
418April 7, 2011 (2011-04-07)August 1, 2011 (2011-08-01)2.04
521June 4, 2012 (2012-06-04)October 22, 2012 (2012-10-22)1.58
623March 11, 2014 (2014-03-11)August 12, 2014 (2014-08-12)1.29
724April 7, 2015 (2015-04-07)September 17, 2015 (2015-09-17)1.28
823April 6, 2016 (2016-04-06)September 14, 2016 (2016-09-14)1.53
922April 5, 2017 (2017-04-05)August 30, 2017 (2017-08-30)1.50
1022April 4, 2018 (2018-04-04)September 5, 2018 (2018-09-05)1.37
1120March 6, 2019 (2019-03-06)July 25, 2019 (2019-07-25)1.28
1225April 2, 2020 (2020-04-02)October 1, 2020 (2020-10-01)1.11
1318May 4, 2021 (2021-05-04)September 4, 2021 (2021-09-04)0.82
1416July 16, 2023 (2023-07-16)October 29, 2023 (2023-10-29)0.51

Critical reception

Then-current cast member Frankel stated in 2017 that she would like to see the series "represent New York more."[46] Writing for The New York Times in October 2019, author Tracie Egan Morrissey posed the question, "If less than half of the city is white, why is 100 percent of the cast of The Real Housewives of New York City white?"[47] Former cast member Heather Thomson also stated that during her time on the series she had pitched several women of color to the show's producers to diversify its cast members due to her concerns about the issue.[47] The women also received backlash for highlighting the class divide in America through the ignorance and mistreatment of staff featured on the show.[48]

The announcements of both the reboot and new cast of the show's fourteenth season have been criticized by some long-time viewers of the series, who argued that these were rash and poor decisions on Bravo's part.[49] The reboot's cast has been deemed unappealing by these viewers, many of whom appreciated the franchise's specific focus on established spheres of older, upper-class New York socialites, labeling the choice to fill the new cast with "influencers" as a deviation from the show's original subject matter.[50] The decision has been labeled as another move in Bravo's larger attempt to appeal the network to a younger and more social media-oriented audience.[51]

Broadcast history

The Real Housewives of New York City airs regularly on Bravo in the United States;[52] most episodes are approximately forty-two minutes in length,[53] and are broadcast in standard definition and high definition.[54] Since its premiere, the series has alternated airing on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings and has been frequently shifted between the 8:00, 9:00, and 10:00 PM timeslots.[52]

Other media

In July 2012, Bravo released a social networking video game version of The Real Housewives of New York City titled as Real Housewives: The Game. Following weekly new episodes, a new game was available based on the story.[55][56]

In 2016, On Location Tours hosted an official The Real Housewives of New York-themed tour in New York City. The tour is centered around giving passengers an almost four-hour trip to visit numerous places where current and former housewives "have dined, shopped, dated or had a fight or two," and is described as the "ultimate, one-of-a-kind Real Housewives experience."[57]

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