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Are the ‘Real Housewives’ Shows Scripted?

If you’re reading this blog, you most likely LOVE the Real Housewives, or maybe you simply LOVE TO HATE THEM, either way, you’re somewhat invested in Bravo’s biggest franchise ever.

Most of us watch the Real Housewives for the drama, the crying, the screaming, the glitz and the glam of the lifestyles of the rich and richer.

And yes sometimes it’s hard to believe that the Housewives can be so “on” every time the cameras are rolling but hey that’s the magic of reality TV, right?

So, what if you found out the Real Housewives shows were all scripted?

Well, In Touch Weekly has looked into how “real” the reality of our favorite Real Housewives are and their results are pretty freaking compelling.

First, things first, check out the video below.

Now if that isn’t enough proof to make you go ‘huh?’ here’s some more.

Recently, a reality TV producer held anonymous Ask Me Anything Q & A on a Real Housewives Reddit forum and answered questions about storylines, legal issues, and working with difficult reality TV stars.

When Housewives came up, they explained, “Each housewife is assigned to their own story producer, whose only job is to develop her storyline. So they conspire to create plot points, image, etc… Each story producer’s housewife is their responsibility. If the housewife has a breakdown at 2 am and wants to quit the show, or is pissed about her edit, she calls her story producer. The story producer has to pretend to be their bestie and gain their trust, but they are also in charge of creating exciting TV, and will influence their housewife to walk into set ups.”

Adding that those casual lunches and dinners are meticulously planned out ahead of time.

“To shoot anywhere that is not their privately owned home; you have to get permission from the owner and get a film permit [weeks before]… So anything at a restaurant or public space needs to be set up way in advance,” the producer explained.

However, Real Housewives producers Rachel Tennione explained to Business Insider that they can only control so much saying,“As a reality producer, you’re dealing with real people with their own minds that have their own images that they want to control or they want to be seen. We don’t always know what we’re going to get.”

It’s true – you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink. The producers can push, encourage, and guide the Housewives to do or say anything but when the cameras roll, they can’t control the words that come out of the Housewives’ mouths.

I’ve been to multiple filmings of RHONJ, and I’ve seen the show film firsthand, so I have a little insight. I wouldn’t say the show is scripted at all – it’s more guided. Producers will control when certain Housewives are pulled into conversations or arrive at events. We’ve even seen producers remind Housewives of past drama or topics to discuss they need to address but they aren’t feeding the Housewives lines at all. The Housewives have to come up with what they say all by themselves. And I will agree that the Housewives are each extremely close to their producers and you’d be shocked at how many producers and their assistants are at each event – it’s pretty crazy. Also, I want to point out that if the Real Housewives were completely scripted wouldn’t certain seasons be better. Honestly, think about it if producers controlled and manipulated everything we would have much more impressive storylines and drama and clearly, that’s not the case.

Do you think the Real Housewives shows are scripted? Is Real Housewives actual reality? Do you care if the Real Housewives shows are real or not? Would you stop watching the Real Housewives if you found out it was scripted? Sound off below!

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About the author

Lara Sophia

Lara began writing for AllAboutTRH in October 2014. Lara is a born and bred Jersey girl, who loves blogging and currently writes a lifestyle blog: ChicandSequined.com Beyond blogging, Lara enjoys traveling, fashion, beauty, and gossip. Lara is excited to get in on the gossip and put her own spin on things.

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  • giada marco

    I don’t think so, some of these housewives are too mean

  • Stuart Cooper

    It is very “produced” but so is all of reality to shows. This is why I enjoyed the RHOBH season 1 behind the scenes show. We saw more of the limo drama they wouldn’t show. The wives are pushed to not let things drop and you can tell at events, if one of the wives is sitting away from the drama that they are “advised” that they need to be involved in that. I do like how over the recent years the show has accepted breaking the fourth wall and the wives acknowledging they are being filmed. NYC recent Hot mic dramas and OC with women kicking off not wanting things to be filmed ( Vicki and Brianna about brooks and Shannon taking her mic off).

  • shaw allen

    Pheadras rape rumor was prime move by producers to sort out take her down by creating drama thats why porsha didn’t get fired

  • Artie Bagata

    That’s why it’s crazy that people actually hate….despise some of these women. Namely Vicki and Kenya. When it really isn’t that serious.

  • pastagirl

    So, it is totally scripted that Bethenny is a vicious bitch? She is really a sweetheart in real life, but is just following the producers direction?

  • michers

    I think it’s induced, Instigated , the ladies are baited to react at times and producers do what they can to mold things for ratings .

    • Rain

      Perfect ??

      • michers

        Thanks lady !

  • FUCHESS

    No, it is certainly not reality and i think most people know this. While i dont think they’ve been provided prepared lines, situations are certainly set up, prodded, guided, suggested, urged, recommended, plotted, arranged, manipulated, whispered and fed. I’m sure they’ve rehearsed what they wanted to say to others in advance ensuring they had witty comebacks and clever sayings. The ladies decide how they want to portray themselves and go for it. They’re not really friends anymore. They’re on there to make a buck and be a “star”, which they think they are now. It’s all become too fabricated , dark, dirty and boring. It’s all about the editing as well and who’s up and who’s down this season. Finally, the game of Favorites is definitely played.

    • Rain

      Great post , honey bunches ?

      • FUCHESS

        ???

  • Tracy Ruotsalainen

    For sure staged…not sure how you could script it but yeah, for sure staged. BH, OC and NJ are the worst I think.

  • Laurie

    Of course and most of us have always said storylines and “situations” have always been producer induced. These housewives manage to live very quiet normal lives away from the cameras… and then they start yelling and screaming and fighting in restaurants?? Haha! Also to note, 90% of these “friends” errr castmatrd doent even socialize with each other off camera. Of course they’re dictated to manufacture drama amongst each other when cameras are rolling. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this was NOT Scott Dunlop’s original vision Eugene he created the OG HW’s in OC. This is all imagineered by Bravo.

    • Laurie

      Oops autocorrect! When he created. And Castmates… ugh lol

  • Karoline

    The show Unreal is exactly about this very subject. It was a great series.

  • Kirby

    Of course it’s guided and manipulated . Bravo treats their audience like they’re simpletons and as long as the ratings are there , they have no incentive to change anything .

    • Rain

      It’s now a race to the bottom ???

  • September24

    O/T just saw a picture of Cynthia RHOA with her new boyfriend. He kind of looks like OJ Simpson. Handsome. New York Post has the story.

    • samael

      I’m glad she is moving on! I hope she finds someone who doesn’t cheat on her.

      • Gagaperry

        She deserves better for sure , I hope it works out

  • Marcy Davis

    Does a wild bear shit in the woods? Producer Driven,Scripted drama, Editing Tricks, Frankenbites, Hell Yes. Fake, Producers are the Puppeteers and the “talent”makes so little that they need second jobs. Reality show cast members are like sex workers, getting a tiny fraction of Cash they Generate, and Bravo TV is like the Hunger Games except these women fight for money instead of their life. The viewers Us are “The District” None of these reality talent women act like this in real life.

  • September24

    Heavily edited – yes. Didn’t Tre and Juicy have a vow renewal that was filmed but never aired? Makes me wonder what else is never shown.

    • michers

      The truth isn’t shown lmao !
      Hehe… I kid, I kid

      • September24

        LOL! Good one!

  • September24

    We have known about this guidance from producers. This information has been known for years. Nothing new.

  • Paul

    Scripted? No. Staged and encouraged? Yes. The women at the end of the day are always responsible for their words and actions. Plus, every season would be great. There’s a reason why Atlanta, New Jersey and Scary Island of NYC have been the highest rated. Those seasons were the REALEST.

    • Rain

      I also feel there is this pressure for the HW to bring the drama ! And that may lead to exaggerated over the top reactions or confrontations. If she doesn’t ‘bring it’ , they will be axed and they know that
      Most women don’t argue like that in real life .

      • Kirby

        Mother ???. Everything is always at an 11 !!

      • Gagaperry

        I like what you wrote Rain 🙂 most people would walk away or avoid that person but these shows encourage eveyone to be on their worst behavior

        • Rain

          Thanks Gaga ??? part of me feels that we wouldn’t watch if things weren’t occasionally atrocious so maybe we as viewers are complicit to some extent ?
          Well you can rest assured that Swift won’t break the 1 million mark. Estimates have her at around 500k. I’ll say it’ll be closer to 600 because of the MTV awards expsosure .

          • Gagaperry

            Rain lol, thanks for letting me know , it’s a terrible song anyways

            • Rain

              You’ll live to see Gaga and Katie slay another day ??????

      • Simon

        Most women definitely do not argue like that in real life. However, I do think there are a select few HW who aren’t putting on a show and actually are that crazy, i.e. Ramona, Sonja, and Yolanda.

        Ramona actually does seem like the type to start screeching in restaurants, and I do believe Sonja is actually that delusional. There are multiple TMZ clips of Sonja trashed and rambling in NY, so that’s nothing new. Yo is just an attention-seeking liar and compulsive over-exaggerator. I think these women (currently Ramona and Sonja) have bought into the show so much that their own reality is distorted and they don’t care about getting blackout drunk and fighting, or milking health concerns for attention.

        Coincidentally, these are BY FAR the most entertaining and most realistic HW (EXCEPT YOLANDA, YUCK!) so the madness is totally excusable in my opinion. You know what? In all sincerity, there’s a reason Ramona’s been on since season 1…

    • ~~ La erik ~~

      Yes staged is a better term to use.

      • Gagaperry

        La erik 🙂

      • michers

        Yeah – I also read awhile ago that they sometimes keep reshooting scenes which, that’s inauthentic and takes away reality !

    • shaw allen

      New jersey is back to it’s former glory now with that crazy trailer

  • Rain

    Let’s not forget also the power and control Bravo has over who’s going to get a bad edit or a good edit . That’s why you have to take it all with a little grain of salt

    • Kirby

      Seems Shannon has been given a constant bad edit to make her look miserable and whiny. I’m certain she’s not that way in real life

      • Rain

        Poor Shannon ! ???? they shoots many hours of footage and I’m sure they select the ones where she comes off aweful. I kneo I’m biased but that’s ok ?????

      • ~~ La erik ~~

        No she’s a wacko job! She should take xanax!

  • samael

    Various RH have said at reunions/interviews/blogs in a variety of ways “of course it is scripted”

    The premise of RH is to show viewers how they live…well to do that the RH re-enacts what happened since the last reunion. and many RH say, if the producer doesn’t think it is lively enough he/she will add/take away “manipulate” to entice the audience to watch.

    How many viewer’s believe the fights? People go strolling around Hotlanta screeching their heads off all the time? Everything is re-enacted. The issue is:

    – Andy and Bravo are the pimps
    – Andy and Bravo approve scripts/storylines
    – Andy and Bravo add/take away from what the RH went through since the last reunion
    – Andy and Bravo pick and choose which RH will be the alpha RH

    This is old. every two years this comes up. What we know for a fact – Andy and Bravo are the pimps and never listen to the client – us the viewer. and this has worked for their collective bank accounts for years, and won’t change a thing.

  • Simon

    I agree; if it was scripted, every season would be a hit. I’m familiar with film permits so I’ve always known the restaurants and events were set up way in advance. I’d be interested in a season of Housewives with no fourth wall, but then again, that fantasy of “this is totally real” is kind of what sets the HW apart from other reality shows.

    • michers

      If it’s all scripted they need to go . No point if reality real HW show and honestly they ALL seem off after season 2.

      • Simon

        I think a lot of them get sucked into the ’15 minutes’ after the first few seasons and because producers and others are egging them on, it only feeds their ego. Remember when NeNe was actually likable and relatable? She totally let the show take her over and she’s a completely different person than the NeNe from season 1 and 2. Regardless, it’s entertainment. While I would be disappointed if it was one day revealed to be totally fake (like The Hills) I’ve still laughed my ass off for years, so HW would have served its purpose as entertainment.