Bravo: Does the addition of new cast balance out the loss of former cast?

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK CITY, Dorinda Medley, Bethenny Frankel, Luann de Lesseps (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/Bravo)
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK CITY, Dorinda Medley, Bethenny Frankel, Luann de Lesseps (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/Bravo) /

Bravo does their best to keep things fresh, but we’ve suffered the loss of some major characters across the board.  Are the new additions enough to keep up?

The last two years or so have been a transitional time for Bravo.  We’ve lost some great housewives and in their places, have gained some new ones.  Most wives who join at this point in a series don’t automatically become icons, but they certainly have the potential.  When we look back at all of the ladies who have left their respective franchises, have we lost more than we’ve gained overall?  Perhaps, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we have faith that the newly cast women will be icons in their own time.

From The Real Housewives of New York, we lost Bethenny Frankel and Dorinda Medley, but we gained Leah McSweeney and Eboni K. Williams ahead of season 13.  Bethenny might have left the show behind, but she has been a huge help during the pandemic with her BStrong charity.

Out in California, the housewives suffered the loss of some major OGs of the cast.  On The Real Housewives of Orange County, Vicki Gunvalson and Tamra Judge were both fired after a combined 26 seasons on the show.  Vicki was one of the original wives back in 2006, and Tamra joined the cast shortly after in season 3.  Braunwyn Windham-Burke joined the cast in their final season, and Elizabeth Lyn Vargas joined for the current season 15.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills started with one of the strongest casts we’ve seen with Taylor Armstrong, Camille Grammer, Adrienne Maloof, Kim Richards, Kyle Richards, and Lisa Vanderpump.  When Lisa left ahead of season 10, there were some huge Christian Louboutins to fill in her place.  Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave, Denise Richards, and Garcelle Beauvais have all been added in the last three seasons, but Garcelle was the only one brought on after Lisa’s departure.  Sutton Stracke was also a friend of, but fit well enough into the group.

Teddi was one of the weakest and most boring housewives to grace our television screens, despite her famous last name.  Denise was a powerhouse and brought name recognition, face recognition, and a backbone to stand up to the mean girls that remained on the cast.  Unfortunately, she was just too much on her own to mingle with the rest of the ladies.  Denise walked away after two seasons.

And one of the biggest but most predictable losses was the loss of NeNe Leakes from The Real Housewives of Atlanta.  Drew Sidora will be replacing NeNe, but after 11 seasons on the show in some capacity, Drew will certainly have her hands full.  It isn’t even that NeNe was well-liked anymore.  She used to be a huge name and was so much fun to watch, but her ego was her downfall.

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In conclusion, our losses are definitely more than our gains for now.  However, when former housewives like Bethenny go on to follow more philanthropic paths in life, we can’t help but think it was worth the loss.  We will always hold housewives in our little Bravo hearts and in our cable boxes, but we appreciate their next steps and the new additions that come after.  Unless you are Tamra, we’re just thankful she’s gone.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills will be back next year on Bravo.