After NeNe Leakes started appearing on Real Housewives of Atlanta, she became a fan favorite for Bravo watchers. From 2008 to 2015, she was a main cast member on the series, but pulled back to be a supporting role for the eighth and ninth seasons, stepping back up into the spotlight to be a main role for the tenth through twelfth seasons of the series.
In 2020, it was announced that NeNe would once again be pulling back from Bravo and leaving the series entirely, something that fans learned more about when she filed a lawsuit in 2022 against Bravo, RHOA‘s production companies, and Andy Cohen for allegedly violating federal employment and anti-discrimination laws, but the lawsuit was later dropped.
Since leaving RHOA for the final time, the former reality star hasn’t been a regular figure on fans’ televisions, but that hasn’t stopped them from keeping up with her life and speculating about every move she makes that might imply she’ll be returning to the series.
On a 2023 episode of Bethenny Frankel’s Just B podcast, during a limited series dubbed BetheNeNe, NeNe Leakes spoke up about her thoughts on where RHOA has gone since she first joined the cast in 2008.
"When we entered, we were so good because we were real. It was authentic. We were real. Now everybody has a fake boyfriend, a fake everything. Everything is fake, everything. They have all these stories they made up."
Despite the fact that NeNe sounds less than thrilled with where RHOA‘s storylines have gone since her departure, fans have been speculating that she might be making her return to the series.
Fans began speculating about NeNe’s future with the network after a fan asked Andy Cohen about her coming back at BravoCon. In a video shared by a fan, Cohen called himself “a nostalgic guy,” but went on to say, “I mean, she asked me a few years ago to keep her name out of my mouth, so I try to respect that.”
Even though Andy Cohen was respectfully cagey about whether or not NeNe Leakes will be back on Bravo for the 16th season of the series, fans have continued speculating about NeNe’s online actions that they believe might be clues toward the future.
Later in November 2023, amid the buzz that Andy Cohen’s answers at BravoCon stirred, fans noticed that NeNe Leakes had deleted pictures of Bethenny Frankel from her Instagram and followed Bravo’s official account, a move that the network’s social media reciporcated by following NeNe as well.
Unfortunately for fans that are hoping to see NeNe back on their TV screens next season, neither NeNe nor Bravo have confirmed her return as of yet. Amid all the speculation, NeNe shared an Instagram post featuring photos of herself with Cynthia Bailey in Dubai.
At this time, it’s too soon to say whether or not the bridges that NeNe Leakes burned can be repaired professionally or if she’s just on friendly, social media follow-worthy terms with the network. While fans are hopeful that her actions are leading up to her return to RHOA, it’s too soon to tell without confirmation from either party.