Real Housewives: How Do Producers Choose The Cast?

Cast shake-ups are as common as vacations and cocktails on Bravo’s Real Housewives. Here’s are some ways the cast is selected by producers.

Loyal fans of the Real Housewives franchise have been watching for years, seeing what new fights crop up each season and which new friendships have come up. There are some smart one-liners on the franchise and every housewife adds something.

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Cast shake-ups are as common as vacations and cocktails on this Bravo franchise, and it’s interesting to hear more about the casting process, as there are some women who have been on their show since the very first episode. Whether they appear for a season or several, the cast members are each very memorable, especially if they don’t get along with the existing friend group.

10 Single Women Can Be Cast

Bethenny Frankel in Real Housewives

While of course the franchise has the word “housewives” in the title, it’s true that single women can be cast on the show.

Andy Cohen was talking about this on his show Watch What Happens Live and he brought up Jo de la Rosa who fans will remember from season one of Real Housewives of Orange County. He also mentioned how Bethenny Frankel wasn’t married when she started on Real Housewives of New York, either. He said, “I think Housewives is the name and I think it’s a little bit of a wink because housewives is an old fashion term and we’re turning it on its head because a housewife now, it’s a modern woman and it’s something totally different.”

9 Everyone Auditions

The Real Housewives of New York Sonja Morgan

It’s interesting to think of people auditioning to appear on a reality show, as fans tend to think of that happening for fictional pop culture.

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But it turns out that the women who appear on Real Housewives will audition. According to Cheat Sheet, Ryan Flynn, an executive at Bravo, explained that the Bravo team also wants to see “a slice of life” and will get to know how the person lives before making a decision.

8 Being Funny And Unique Is Helpful

The Real Housewives franchise is considered a “guilty pleasure” by many as it’s just so much fun. And it turns out those in charge of casting make sure that the cast members will deliver entertainment.

Andy Cohen said that new cast members should be funny, he also wants women who are unique and really stand out. He was interviewed by Attitude in 2015 and he said,  “We cast very highly volatile, emotional, driven, opinionated women.”

7 Friends Of The Cast Are Great

It’s helpful when someone knows the cast and that’s one way that the show finds their new cast members. According to Bustle, Dorinda Medley knew the women on the Real Housewives of New York and so she was a perfect choice when it came time to find a new housewife. Fans loved watching Dorinda on the series, whether she was hosting at her Berkshires home or attending a party.

This is also true of the current season of The Real Housewives of Orange County, as newcomer Elizabeth Vargas knows Kelly Dodd.

6 Andy Cohen Asks People Sometimes

Andy Cohen

Sometimes Andy Cohen and the cast members will have some bad blood between them, like when RHOC‘s Tamra Judge said Cohen is “ageist.” But he will sometimes go to his own social circle when casting the shows.

When Carole Radziwill was cast on RHONYAndy Cohen asked her if she wanted to be on the show. According to an interview with Daily Beast, they’re pals who were at a dinner party and he started talking to her about the opportunity.

5 The Cast Members Need To Share A Lot

If people are trying out for this franchise, they need to share a lot, Andy Cohen said in an interview with Nene Leakes on Watch What Happens Live!. They should be “open” and they need to have strong thoughts and feelings about the situations that they find themselves in.

RELATED: RHONY: 10 Things Fans Should Know About Tinsley’s Past

They also have to “participate” and that includes going on the vacations that tend to take place each season. Fame 10 mentions that former RHONY cast member Aviva Drescher didn’t go on one of those vacays.

4 The Franchise Is Thinking About Diversity

crystal kung minkoff

Crystal Kung Minkoff has been cast for RHOBH and according to Variety, the franchise is now thinking about diversity when they go through the casting process.

As Shari Levine, an executive at Bravo, told Variety, “We are looking to increase the diversity of our shows. We are mindful of what the moment is. And we all feel the same in terms of intolerance, and in terms of being part of a culture that doesn’t inflict pain on people.”

3 Friends Will Still Audition

Season 5 cast of The Real Housewives of Potomac

Fans are used to seeing “friends” of the cast each season and it’s true that sometimes, a pal of a main cast member will be hired.

When that happens, friends will still audition, according to Women’s Health. That makes sense as Ryan Flynn appeared on The Daily Dish Podcast and explained  “It’s always like, ‘Who do you know that we should know?'”

2 People Are Told To Leave If They Don’t Have Enough Going On

How do Bravo excutives know that it’s time for someone to leave the show? When they wouldn’t have much to share on the series. Kemar Bassaragh, who is an exec producer on the Real Housewives of Potomac, said that it’s all about the things that are going on in someone’s life.

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According to Bravo TV, Bassaragh explained that if someone said, “I’m married. I have a child. Like, there’s nothing new that I can show you,” then the team wouldn’t want them to return. This makes sense as there needs to be material to film as well as some dramatic arguments.

1 It’s Tricky To Find People

There are some cast members who have lasted a long time and it’s tough for fans to let them go, but it’s definitely true that sometimes, things don’t work out and a new person has to come on board.

While it seems like there would be many people excited to join this popular Bravo franchise, a casting agent explained to Page Six that it’s tough. They said, “We are lucky if we interview six to 10 people a season. Nobody with integrity is going to go on a reality show like that where you are flaunting your lifestyle and flashing cash.”

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Updated: November 5, 2020 — 3:30 pm

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