Real Housewives Kyle Richards, NeNe Leakes, Caroline Manzo, Vicki Gunvalson and Ramona Singer got together to do a photo shoot and cover The HollyWood Reporter. Take a look at the behind-the-scenes footage and read what Andy had to say about the decision-making process surrounding Russell Armstrong plus more
SIX-FIGURE SALARIES AND COUNTLESS PRODUCT DEALS HAVE MADE THE CAST MEMBERS RICH
Bravo offers each of the Housewives an unparalleled opportunity to develop her own brand. Combined, the Housewives have published more than a dozen books; received product deals from makeup and jewelry to sex toys and alcohol; average well over 100,000 Twitter followers (Leakes has nearly 600,000); and receive an approximate six-figure salary each season (the New York cast is drawing a $250,000 payday for Season 5) — not movie-star money, but steady income for people arguably of limited talent. Bethenny Frankel is the best example of this with several bestselling books, her own spinoff series, and the ability to promote her Skinny Girl margarita brand on Bravo, which she sold for $120 million.
ANDY COHEN ON THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS SURROUNDING RUSSELL ARMSTRONG’S SUICIDE
After Armstrong’s death, Cohen was among a handful of crucial players who determined how The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills would proceed. When news erupted that the 47-year-old father of three had hanged himself, it not only sent shockwaves through Bravo and NBCUniversal, but through the entire reality-television industry. In the following days, even some cast members called for the cancellation of the show’s second season altogether, says one production insider. “We talked endlessly,” Cohen acknowledges. “In the end, we decided to capture what happened as sensitively as we could.”
OC HOUSEWIFE CLAIMS SHOW’S DRAMA IS FORCED BY PRODUCERS
“We started meeting with producers to discuss storylines,” former Orange County housewife Peggy Tanous confesses, maintaining this was behind her decision to leave the series. “I started getting anxiety thinking about all the forced drama that does happen on occasion.” Producer Doug Ross concedes that the Housewives are often asked to plan events (read: group séances or $50,000 children’s birthday parties), but vehemently denies any staging: “The audience could sniff that a mile away, so why even bother?”
EVEN AT THE PHOTO SHOOTS, THE WOMEN CATFIGHTED
THR went behind the scenes at a shoot for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills where new cast member Brandi Glanville pretended not to hear the snickering coming from cast mates Kyle Richards’ and Lisa Vanderpump’s direction. “One of the girls asked me what I think of Brandi,” Vanderpump whispers loudly to Richards. “And I said, ‘Who?’ ” The pair burst into laughter. And during THR’s cover shoot, Ramona Singer tried to peddle her Ramona brand wine to anyone who’d take a cup and while discussing its high quality, Leakes stifled a laugh. Later, she offered Manzo and Gunvalson a sample. They declined, barely looking up from their mobile phones.