Unless you’ve been paying close attention, you may have missed that Bravo will be premiering The Real Housewives of Melbourne this weekend. The Australian installment of the Housewives franchise first aired in February of this year but is finally making its stateside debut now.
The Real Housewives of Melbourne premieres Sunday, August 3 @ 12pm ET/PT with two back-to-back episodes!
But, as I said, you’d have needed to be watching closely to even have heard about the big Bravo premiere. For whatever reason, Bravo doesn’t seem to be putting a whole lot of promotional effort into this one. You’d think the addition of another Housewives city would be big news for the network who’s current popularity owes a large debt to the success of the Housewives franchise. But nope, we’ve had only passing mentions over about the past week that Melbourne would even be appearing on Bravo. AND, how about that premiere time slot? The middle of the day on a Sunday? It’s like they don’t even want to attract viewers…
Here’s my guess: Bravo is playing the expectations game. Rather than build up anticipation and hype about the show, only to have it not live up to everyone’s hopes, they’d prefer to slip RHOM (that’s Melbourne, not Miami!) in under the radar just to see what the reaction is. That way, any positive response equals success. On the other hand, should the show completely flop, Bravo doesn’t have to worry about potentially damaging the Housewives brand. Up until this point that fear of damage to the highly successful franchise as a whole has, I believe, been what’s stopped the network from branching out to additional cities. And, probably, why shows like Ladies of London don’t get to carry the “Housewives” moniker.
All this being said, I have to wonder why Bravo is even choosing to air The Real Housewives of Melbourne at all. They’ve never opted to air The Real Housewives of Vancouver, which began airing on the Canadian network Slice in 2012. My best guess is that these decisions are mostly prompted by inter-network politics–as in, what relationships are shared between each network’s parent companies. Perhaps Bravo just feels like the Housewives of Melbourne are a better fit with their American audience. Here’s how Bravo describes the series:
Bravo Media travels 10,000 miles to the land “Down Under” with the acquisition of“The Real Housewives of Melbourne,” which will air every Sunday at 12 PM ET/PT beginning on August 3 with two back-to-back episodes. The 12-episode series follows the lavish lives of six successful Melbourne socialites – Gina Liano, Andrea Moss, Chyka Keebaugh, Janet Roach, Lydia Schiavello and Jackie Gillies – as they live life on their own terms and enjoy the pampered and cultured lifestyle that the “world’s most liveable city” has to offer. Whether they are established business women soaking-up the single life or married to some of the most established men in the city, these Australian bombshells will show no shortage of extravagance and high end drama. From glamorous cocktail parties to weekend getaways at exclusive resorts, sparks are sure to fly and the friendships and relationships are put to the ultimate test. Life is not one big beach party, however, as Janet adapts to the single life after divorcing her cheating husband and Gina struggles with a long distance relationship and a rumored affair. The season concludes with a two-part reunion special hosted by famed Australian fashion designer, Alex Perry. Full of Australian humor, high heels and even higher price tags, “The Real Housewives of Melbourne” is ready to take America by storm.
Check out the preview clip:
I guess Housewives drama translates all over the world! Whatever the reasoning behind it, I’m excited to check out The Real Housewives of Melbourne Sunday, August 3. Maybe I’ll even check it out online first; Bravo is airing the first episode on Bravotv.com starting Friday, August 1.
Until then, here’s a brief intro to each new addition to the Bravo Housewives family:
Andrea Moss is a busy mom and owner of the exclusive Liberty Belle Skin Centre in the prestigious Melbourne suburb of Toorak. This savvy, hard-working mother of three, juggles the daily demands of business and home life. Married to Dr. Chris Moss, one of Australia’s most successful plastic surgeons, Andrea also manages his business while dealing with major expansion plans required to serve their ever growing Melbourne, national and international clientele. Andrea is also working towards finishing a lifelong dream of writing and launching a book designed to help other busy mothers return to work. This strong, competitive mother firmly believes that women should seek paid employment and contribute to the household income once their children are of school age – even if that’s only a casual or a part time job.
Chyka Keebaugh married her best friend Bruce and together they built one of Australia’s largest privately owned catering and event companies, ‘The Big Group’. Growing the company for the past 22 years, they have some of the most elite clients ranging from Middle Eastern Sheiks to European aristocracy; the National Gallery of Australia, to high profile celebrities and corporate and political VIP’s. Now, this powerful duo is extending their business even further to include two new Melbourne venues and become Australia’s most sought-after event locations. Chyka and Bruce have two teenage children, Chessie, 19, and BJ, 18, who are following in their parent’s footsteps as upcoming entrepreneurs in Melbourne.
Gina Liano is a Barrister and a single mom of two boys and her Poodle, Ninja. She is the glue that keeps her family together even though she has personally gone through the struggles of a divorce and beat cancer. Often found in the courtroom representing the underdog, Gina has been in the legal field for 14 years and has represented some of Australia’s highest profile clients. Passionate about fashion, Gina loves to shop, and it’s ‘Versace’ living all the way. As far as she is concerned with her home interiors, she can have nothing less than glamorous. Gina takes great pride in her appearance – she gets a spray tan every week and her hair and nails are always professionally maintained. With a unique and bold style, Gina cannot be judged by her appearance alone as it would only be a glimpse of the complete picture.
Jackie Gillies, the youngest of the Housewives, is confident, opinionated and spiritual. Married to Australian rocker,Silverchair drummer Ben Gillies, Jackie and Ben have recently relocated from Newcastle to Melbourne and are reveling in the city’s vibrant culture. Reconnecting 14 years after they had first met, these childhood sweethearts tied the knot in 2010. While Ben works on his second solo album, the couple is beginning to branch out in a new beverage brand endeavor – La Máscara. Croatian-born, Jackie is a highly in-demand professional psychic. Also a philanthropist and humanitarian, when Jackie isn’t attending or hosting a high profile event, she’s likely to be found enjoying an impromptu family dinner or cocktails and a dance with her girlfriends.
Janet Roach is a Property Developer and a newly single bombshell. Having caught her ex-husband cheating online last year, she promptly kicked him to the curb the very next day. A self-made woman, Janet is worth more than her ex –husband and is proud to say she can buy anything she desires – without looking at the price tag! Now on a journey to discover herself and what makes her happy, Janet is looking for a new man on her intensive ‘man program’ and having fun doing it. Janet is a mother of two boys, Paul, 29, and Jake, 25 as well as three step-children from her second marriage with whom she is very close. A successful property developer, Janet is currently developing a massive over-55’s lifestyle village in Mildura. This fun-loving, spontaneous, social butterfly enjoys attending luncheons and charity events and when the snow season comes – she’ll sneak away to hit the slopes.
Lydia Schiavello is honest, self-assured and calls it as she sees it. A devoted mother of two boys, a girl and three step-children (all boys), she boasts a beautiful home in Malvern and an exclusive holiday home in Thredbo – complete with her own private plane. Lydia recently married the renowned architect and property investor Andrew Norbury in Florence. Together, Andrew and Lydia have an active and adventurous lifestyle, always wanting to fly Australia-wide at the drop of a hat. Lydia’s passions lay in interior design and she is currently making her way through her degree at the distinguished RMIT. A philanthropist at heart, Lydia gives back to the community whenever she can, including being involved with the prestigious Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. If that wasn’t enough, Lydia is also an accomplished gourmet chef and a die-hard fashionista to boot – which means her darling Italian greyhound Figaro – never leaves home without his very own Burberry coat.