So, Season 6 wasn’t great for The Real Housewives of New York City. Not that I, as a fan, didn’t enjoy last season, it just didn’t seem to resonate with viewers as much as I’m sure Bravo would have preferred. RHOC Season 6 clocked in with an average of 1,291,391 viewers per episode overall and, while this is certainly a respectable number for Bravo programming as a whole, it doesn’t stack up so well against other Housewives iterations or even New York City’s own previous seasons. This average earns Season 6 the lowest RHOC ratings since Season 1. The question, then, becomes: what does this mean for the future of The Real Housewives of New York City?
Before I scare my fellow fans too much, let’s start by reassuring that I am fully expecting RHONY to return for a 7th Season. The ratings aren’t so scary low that Bravo is likely to can the show altogether. HOWEVER, I would expect that there will be some changes, particularly to the cast.
So, who will and who won’t be returning for RHONY Season 7?
As when any Housewives installment wraps up, the rumors began flying almost immediately about RHONY’s next season cast. And, while of course nothing is official from Bravo, I’ll go ahead and delve into which rumors seem to have gained the most ground at this point:
Aviva Drescher has been fired. Word is that Season 6 was Aviva’s last and I’m betting this is for a couple of reasons. First, I think Bravo recognizes that its audience is looking for realness from the Real Housewives franchise. Viewers are turned off by, and hence tune out from, cast members and story lines that seem fake or put-on for the sake of the show. While we are happy to put up with the glamorous pre-planned events, trips, lunches, etc. that, of course, go into filming a “reality” series such as Housewives, we draw the line at pre-meditated prosthetic leg throwing. I think the entire rest of the cast, along with nearly all viewers of the show, felt that Aviva’s performance this past season was, on this occasion and others, a little too staged to be believably heat-of-the-moment reaction. Sure, a prosthetic leg hurled across a fancy party makes for entertaining TV, it just didn’t seem authentic. So, between that, the weirdly aggressive way she handled “book gate” with Carol, and the strange 180 she made when it came to making up with Ramona and Sonja early on this season, I just think Aviva was too obviously grasping at straws this season when it came to trying to find a relevant and appealing story line.
The second reason I won’t be surprised if Aviva isn’t back for Season 7 is that she simply missed too much filming this year. After missing multiple filmed trips, including the annual cast trip to Montana, I’d bet producers were none to happy with Aviva this season. If you recall, she was even cut from the show’s tag line intros for the episodes she missed. I’ve heard that as a result of Aviva’s lack of participation this season Bravo will be more specific in future Housewives’ contracts regarding filming obligations. Carole even shared in an interview with Buzzfeed that there may have been some behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing regarding Aviva’s participation in the Montana trip. She said, of Aviva, “her husband at one point called the production team, the executive producer, and said, ‘I’ll get her to Montana in exchange for a guarantee that she’ll be on next season.'” Clearly, that attempt to extort producers didn’t work out so well. And this also sheds some light on why the ladies all seemed so convinced that Aviva’s asthma excuse was, at best, exaggerated. So, all this being said, I’d say goodbye and good riddance to Aviva!
Ramona Singer has been demoted. As the last standing original New York City cast member (besides LuAnn, who was demoted for Season 6 but still appeared in most episodes as well as the reunion), Ramona seemed to be feeling like quite the queen bee this season. Unfortunately for Ramona, this may have actually been part of her undoing. If she was carrying the show, as she seemed to think, while ratings continued to decline, it stands to reason that Bravo might prefer to re-cast the show without her in that role moving forward. Word is that producers are now casting the show around Heather, Carole, and Kristen.
The other issue I could potentially see that would cause Ramona to be stripped of her Housewife title is her perpetual unwillingness to discuss her marital issues with Mario. Things even got a little bit heated between Ramona and Andy at the reunion over this topic. While I’m sure he, the other women, and the viewers feel for Ramona during this unpleasant time, it also seems a little bit unrealistic and unfair for her to try to sequester such a big part of her life from a show about her life. Now, what exactly a demotion means is still up for question. As we saw with LuAnn this past season, lacking the official Housewife title doesn’t necessarily mean much less screen time. Granted, LuAnn’s demotion last season likely had more to do with her holding out on contract negotiations until after filming had already started, but only time will tell what this rumored demotion will mean for Ramona.
With Aviva out and Ramona demoted to a supporting role, that leaves Heather, Kristen, Carole, and Sonja to return from last season. I have to wonder about what role Sonja will play without Ramona but I suppose her “delusional” antics are just too lovable to be cut. No word yet about any firmed up new additions to the cast. Reportedly, supermodel Helena Christenson has been asked to join but has declined. If Bravo really does want to recreate the show to be centered around Heather, Carole, and Kristen moving forward, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see them add someone else from their circle. That or someone, like Helena, with star power in her own right. Either way, I’d bet on someone younger, like Kristen, as Bravo will undoubtedly be trying to boost their younger demographic appeal. You know we’ll be keeping you updated as soon as we hear any new names!
What were your thoughts on The Real Housewives of New York City Season 6? What do you think about Aviva being cut and Ramona being demoted? And, what would you like to see for Season 7?