The Real Housewives of New York City (RHONY for short) is an American reality TV series that premiered march 4, 2008 on Bravo. Developed as the second installment of the Real Housewives franchise, it airs 12 seasons and focuses on the personal and professional lives of women residing in New York City.
During pre-production, the show was initially titled Manhattan Mom. It was then rebranded to become the second installment in the new Real Housewives franchise at the time. The first season premiered on March 4, 2008 and starred Bethenny Frankel, Luann de Reseps, Alex McCode, Ramona Singer and Jill Zarin.
Kelly Killoren Bensimon is added to the cast of the second season, which premiered on February 17, 2009. The third season premiered on March 4, 2010, with Sonya Morgan as the main cast and repeatedly joined by Jennifer Gilbert. In August 2010, Frankel left the show to expand his Skinnygirl product line.
Cindy Barshop replaced Frankel for the show’s fourth season, which premiered April 7, 2011. After the fourth season, McCauld, Zarin, Kiroren Bensimon and Barshop were effectively let go of the show.
Season 5 – 8
In April 2012, Bravo announced a revamp into the cast for a fifth season, integrating Aviva Dresser, Carol Radziwill and Heather Thomson into the main cast. The season premiered on June 4, 2012. Production for the sixth season was scheduled to begin on May 8, 2013, but instead the cast chose to enter salary negotiations with Bravo, effectively delaying filming. Drescher, Morgan, Radziwill, Singer and Thomson renewed their contracts in May 2013, while De Reseps was relegated to recurring roles. The sixth season premiered on March 11, 2014, a year behind schedule with Kristen Techman as the newest housewife. Drescher was released after the sixth season.
The seventh season premiered on April 7, 2015, with frankel’s return and the addition of Dorinda Medley, while De Reseps returned full-time. Techman and Thomson ended the series after the season ended. In the eighth season, which premiered on April 6, 2016, Jules Weinstein joined the cast, Thomson returned with a guest appearance, and Techman did not return. Weinstein left the show in September 2016 for personal reasons.
The ninth season premiered on April 5, 2017. Tinsley Mortimer appeared, while former housewives Thomson and Zarin appeared as guests. The 10th season premiered on April 4, 2018, with the return of the cast for the ninth season. Thomson and Zarin both appeared as guests. It served as Radziwill’s last appearance on the show.
The 11th season premiered on March 6, 2019. Barbara Cavovitt joined as a friend of the housewife, while Zarin appeared as a guest. Frankel left the series for the second time after the season. The 12th season featured Leah McSweeney, which premiered on April 2, 2020. Zarin and Thomson appeared as guests in the 12th season. Mortimer and Medley announced their withdrawal from the series in June 2020 and August 2020, respectively. Mortimer matched her announcement with a move to Chicago to pursue a romantic relationship with Scott Kruse, and Medley later said she was fired from the show.
The 13th season is scheduled to premiere May 4, 2021, with Eboni K. Williams scheduled to join the series. While Thomson and The Barshan Show appear as housewives’ friends.
The Real Housewives of New York City has been criticized for its lack of diversity in its cast. Later, current cast member Frankel said he hopes the series will “represent New York more” in 2017. Writing for The New York Times in October 2019, author Tracy Egan Morrissey each asked the question, “If less than half of the city is white, why is 100% of the cast of The Real Housewives of New York City white?” Former cast member Thomson also said that during her time on the series, she threw several women of color to the show’s producers to diversify its cast members because of her concerns about the issue.
New York City Real Housewives with Huge Fan Followings
Real Housewives of New York was one of the newest Bravo reality shows and was introduced as the East Coast version of “The Real Housewives of Orange County.”
This hour-long series that followed the drama surrounding the lives of housewives: Alex, Bethenny, Jill, LuAnn and Ramona. They are all prominent, well-heeled and wealthy Manhattan socialite mothers trying to balance raising their children, keeping their husbands happy (or on the lookout for new men as recently divorced) organizing charity fund raising galas, running entrepreneurial businesses, and socializing in the Hamptons. To get an idea of the housewives that are chronicled in the Real House Wives of New York City, please find below, introductions to women who helped to start the Real Housewives in New York City franchise.
Alex McCord. Alex has to juggle her career, her husband, her two children, and a social calendar that continues to grow with each passing engagement. Each day she has to transport and taxi her children to school and their extracurricular activities like music, art, swimming, and French. Fortunately she has the money to pay for a live-in nanny (Au pair) who speaks both English and tutors her kids in French while she prepares their food and tidies up their toys and freshens their rooms. Alex is a former actress and model and has currently embarked on a graphic designer career in the fast-paced industry of visual merchandising.
Bethenny Frankel. Bethenny is single and in her 30s, but is ready to settle down. She has three children and a wealthy Wall Street boyfriend, so life is very busy. She works as a natural foods chef for celebrities, helms her own company (Bethenny Bakes), writes a health column for Hamptons Magazine, and is a television spokesperson for Health Magazine and Pepperidge Farms new line of health foods. She was a runner-up on the only season of “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.”
Jill Zarin. Jill is a business woman and expresses her creativity as a talented professional photographer. She represents a staple of the Manhattan night life and social circuit. Her husband, Bobby, is a successful businessman and together both of them own and operate an establishment called Zarin Fabrics and Home Furnishings. In her spare time; when she can, she Jill is active in a large number of nonprofits and charitable organizations. Like a lot of the housewives in this series, she and her husband spend a lot of time in the Hamptons. She has a blended family consisting of a daughter (Allyson), two stepsons (David and Jonathan), and a stepdaughter (Jennifer).
LuAnn de Lesseps. LuAnn received professional training as a nurse. She is a member of the Algonquin tribe of Connecticut. She is also of royalty. She is a Countess by marriage. Her husband, Count Alexandre, is a French entrepreneur. His great great grandfather developed the Suez Canal. This canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, that connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez. It also provides the division between Africa and Asia. LuAnn and Count Alexandre have two children – Victoria (13) and Noel (11). LuAnn has her own morning show on television and teaches etiquette. She also has her own cable show called “The Countess Report.”
Ramona Singer. Ramona is multi-faceted. She owns several businesses: R.M.S. Fashions, an umbrella organization of her jewelry line, True Faith (which sells religious jewelry); the clothing line, True Faith; and she is in the process of developing her own skin care line. Her husband Mario is a third generation jeweler. The couple reside in a four-bedroom condominium on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with their daughter Avery (13). They also own a second home in Southampton. When she is not growing her businesses, Ramona enjoys playing tennis, entertaining friends, and organizing dinner parties and social events.