How Did the Real Housewives Franchise Start and Who Paid to Be On It?
Credit: Alex Martinez/Bravo © NBC Universal, Inc.    

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

How Did the Real Housewives Franchise Start and Who Paid to Be On It?

On Monday, June 24, Bravo will air a Real Housewives of Orange County 100th Episode Special. The two-hour documentary will showcase the Housewives franchise through the years and feature new interviews with current and former cast members.

In a new sneak peek of the special, Vicki Gunvalson, Lauri Peterson, Jeana Keough, Slade Smiley, and Jo De La Rosa give some scoop about how RHoOC actually began. There was an ad about a new reality show in the local newspaper, and Vicki’s son, Michael, sent in the information about his family.

“I thought, hey, me and my friends can do this,” Michael explains. “They didn’t really want me and my friends, though. They wanted my mom.”

Another guy who really wanted to get on the show? Slade Smiley. In fact, he was willing to pay for it. At a charity event at one of the creator’s homes, Slade says, “I bid $2,500 in order to participate in the Real Housewives.” His ex Jo admits she did the show because he wanted it so badly. “I did it for love,” she says.

Even more surprising is the fact that OG Vicki nearly wasn’t in the show. She said she was too busy to have cameras following her around and didn’t think she was TV material. Luckily for all of us, Vicki relented and was completely wrong about that second part.