8 Shocking Ways The Real Housewives’ Franchise Has Changed Over The Years
When the Real Housewives series first started back in 2006, before the reality television craze, it was marketed as a documentary about the families who live behind the gates of the affluent community Coto de Caza, Orange County. After a few name changes, the show was called The Real Housewives of Orange County. Today the show has grown into a full blown franchise with numerous shows covering different cities across the U.S., as well as internationally in Melbourne and Vancouver. The Real Housewives even has a few spin-off series! Viewers have seen the most change in RHOC since it began a decade ago. This list takes a look at some of the most dramatic changes in the Real Housewives series!
8. From Documentary to Franchise Series
The first season of The Real Housewives of Orange County was supposed to be called “Behind the Gates” because it was to be filmed as a documentary about the lives of families who live behind the gates of the affluent community, Coto de Caza in Orange County. Of course, when the show experienced an immense amount of success, the production team changed their format from documentary to reality television show. It wasn’t long before Bravo was creating new shows to join the franchise — both New York City and Atlanta were created in 2008. The Real Housewives of New Jersey followed suit in 2009 and Washington, D.C. and Beverly Hills came in 2010, Miami in 2011 and Potomac and Dallas in 2016. In the first season of RHOC back in 2006, the women didn’t have the signature tag lines they now do in the opening credits. Instead the producers took a clip of something they said while filming. For example, Lauri Waring’s was “Are the police involved?” to showcase the trouble with her son, Josh, and Vicki’s was “I don’t want to get old!” The show was more about the women. “At that time, it was about inspiring women, being a successful woman and managing all I did. Fast-forward 10 years later, it’s not focused on that, unfortunately — it’s more focused on drama,” said veteran O.C. Housewife, Vicki Gunvalson.
7. Cast Members Interaction
During season 1 of The Real Housewives of Orange County the women had minimal interaction with one another. Throughout the entire season they might have all been together once, but that was it! The rest of the time focused on each of the women individually and what they do in their day-to-day lives. This has changed grossly. It’s now a requirement that the women all spend time together, and if a cast member falls on the outs with the other women, she’s likely to be fired. The producers want the women to hang out with each other because it increases the likelihood of drama which equals entertainment and higher ratings. This is why they pick controversial or outspoken women to appear on the show. In the early season of RHONY or RHOC, there’s hardly any drama at all! In fact, there’s next to none. Now it’s all about the drama, and if a cast member can’t deliver she will be axed from the show. Lauri Waring, who was featured on the first three seasons of RHOC, commented on how in the beginning the women didn’t film much with one another, it was more focused on family. “I just really remember filming with my children. Filming with the ladies, the other housewives, was minimal. [But now] the focus is on the women. And, of course, conflict is always good,” she said.