Inside the Real Housewives Franchise: From Its Strange Beginnings to Its Global Expansion
If any of Bravo’s Real Housewives shows — from Atlanta to Beverly Hills — are on your must-watch list, you’re not alone. Many iterations reach two million viewers an episode, and it’s taking over the world.The Hollywood Reporter’s January issue features several Housewives on its cover, and the inside story uncovers the origins of Bravo’s successful set of shows.
The Real Housewives of Orange County, the first show in the series, almost never was. “We wanted something very authentic and they started to film something Curb Your Enthusiasm-esque," says Bravo’s president Frances Berwick. "It required a whole revision, so we came to a point where we had to decide whether to sink more money into it or just pull the plug." Hm, which O.C. wife is the Larry David in this scenario?
After the success of RHoOC, Bravo rebranded a show it was developing, Manhattan Moms, into Real Housewives of New York. While that series was originally focused on NYC parents vying to get their offspring into competitive private schools, some editing and new packaging helped launch the franchise. Though the D.C. and Miami versions proved less successful, that hasn’t stopped Bravo from expanding to new, international markets. There’s already been a Real Housewives of Athens (which admittedly garnered criticism for debuting amongst Greece’s financial crisis), and according to The Hollywood Reporter, several other countries are getting their own shows featuring lavish ladies. Israel’s version is already airing, and Vancouver’s debuts in March. France, the U.K., Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Hong Kong are among the locations being considered for spinoffs. (We’d love to see New York’s Ramona Singer make a cameo in the Outback.)
Though Bravo has said in the past that they were done creating new series in the U.S., we’re still holding out hope for a Real Housewives of Seattle. Why should Indonesia have all the fun?