7 Things You Didn’t Know About RHONY


The Real Housewives of New York City is one of Bravo’s most popular and profitable reality series within the Real Housewives franchise. The RHONY has been on the air since 2008 and is about to air season 10. The show focuses on the lives of various wealthy professional women living in New York City who all run within the same social circles — and of course, all the drama that ensues around them! The New York version of the Real Housewives is one of the most successful because the women on the show have been “friends” for a very long time and all have a strong history with one another. Most of the women on the show are veteran housewives who have been with the series since the beginning like Ramona Singer, Bethenny Frankel, LuAnn de Lesseps and Sonja Morgan. Despite being on the air for almost a decade, there’s a lot about the show fans still might not know! Here’s a look at 7 things you probably didn’t know about The Real Housewives of New York City:

7. Name Change

The Real Housewives of New York City was originally a show called Manhattan Moms. This series was supposed to be about wealthy moms living in New York City and the struggles they go through to get their children into the most elite private schools. At the time Manhattan Moms was being produced, The Real Housewives of Orange County was taking off and becoming a huge success. Producers at Bravo decided to capitalize on this unsuspected success and turned Manhattan Moms into a spin-off series. This was the beginning of the Real Housewives franchise. The show had already been filmed, so they just used the footage they already had, added Bethenny Frankel and never even told the women that the concept of the show had changed! In an interview OG housewife, Jill Zarin said, “We went to check out the artwork on the computer and it said Real Housewives of New York City. At first, we were a little disappointed, to be honest.”

© Bravo / Courtesy: Everett Collection

6. RHONY Video Game

Long before the Kardashian’s made turning reality television into a video game a popular business venture, The Real Housewives of New York City had a game where players could flirt, fight, and climb their way through the Manhattan social scene as characters based on the women on the Real Housewives.


5. RHONY Tour Bus

This is a new addition to the Real Housewives franchise. The tour bus stops at all the hot spots featured on the show, dining locations, shopping spots, Andy Cohen’s WWHL studio, and most importantly, all the venues where famous events on the show occurred like La Cirque where Aviva Drescher infamously threw her fake leg on the table; Serafina where Ramona Singer launched her pinot grigio and had a big fight with Jill Zarin; as well as SPiN, the ping-pong establishment where Carole Radziwill had her first date with Adam Kenworthy. There are tons of great locations that will feed the ravenous soul of any Real Housewives fan! The tour is quite lengthy with at least 30 locations as it travels from Chelsea, through the West Village, Soho to the east side of the Island, through Murray Hill and eventually the Upper East Side. The only places left out of the tour are the homes of the housewives which is probably for the best!

CreditMichael Nagle for The New York Times

4. Carole Radziwill and Andy Cohen Friendship

Many people wouldn’t know this because it isn’t talked about on the show, but Carole Radziwill and Andy Cohen are actual friends outside of The Real Housewives of New York City. The whole story of her getting on the show was because the two were at a dinner party together and Andy, who is an executive producer for the franchise, told Carole that a few women were being let go from the show and he needed to fill casting spots. She laughed it off, but the next day he followed up with her and she ended up reluctantly agreeing. The two continue to run in the same circles, and Carole said in an interview with Buzzfeed that she tries not to talk shop with Andy when she sees him out because they run in the same circle of friends, but she did break that rule one time while filming season 5 during the whole bookgate crisis with Aviva. Carole saw Andy at a wedding the day after filming when Aviva started unfolding the rumors on camera and she couldn’t help but confront Andy about it. To this day, Aviva blames Carole’s friendship with Andy as the reason for her getting fired.

Source: Bravo TV

3. Cut Throat Casting

Being apart of the franchise is much harder now than it was when the show first started. The Real Housewives has been around for over a decade and Melissa Stanforth, casting director at Jupiter Entertainment, who worked on the New Jersey, Orange County, and Beverly Hills shows said the process of becoming a housewife is much more intense because these production companies have seen “every socialite out there.” Each woman that is brought to the table per season is expected to bring something new and once they’ve been cast as a certain “type” they are expected to deliver. Take Aviva Drescher for example — Drescher told the New York Post that Bravo producers reprimanded her for being too calm during the season 5 reunion and apologizing to Ramona and Sonja for calling them ‘white trash.’ She said, “The producers said, ‘We don’t want our characters to be self-censoring. We want them to be themselves — i.e., wild and dramatic.” As punishment, she was only given an eight-week contract for her second season and told that she would be given a full five-month contract if she delivered drama. As a result, Aviva crafted the storyline of exposing a rumor about castmate Carole Radziwill using a ghostwriter for her What Remains memoir.  She was eventually kicked off the show anyways after refusing to go on trips with the other women.

Source: Bravo TV

2. Housewives Pay Checks

Many of the women who have starred on Bravo’s Real Housewives are now celebrities in their own right, and the women who’ve been on the show for a long time are now worth millions. However, when the show first started out producers didn’t know how big it would become and so the women reportedly only made around $7,000 for the entire first season. Boy, oh boy, have things changed! Today, it is common for first-time cast members to rake in about $40,000 to $60,000 a season and returning cast members make around $500,000 per season. The real veterans of the show who help bring a certain element of celeb-status like Bethenny Frankel make around $1 million per season. Talk about a hefty payday!

Photo by MediaPunch/REX Shutterstock

1. Carole Radziwill and Aviva Drescher

In season 6 of The Real Housewives of New York City, Aviva Drescher spent a lot of time insisting that Carole used a ghostwriter to sell her best-selling novels. Obviously, this wasn’t true and nobody even entertained the rumor. Although, not surprisingly, it pissed Carole off quite and bit and could have been damaging to her career. After the season aired, many fans wondered why Carole didn’t sue Aviva for spreading slanderous comments — she easily could have done so and would’ve won! The reason she didn’t was that when the women sign their Real Housewives contract, they sign away their right to sue over what happens on the show during filming. If this clause wasn’t in the contract there would be a lot of legal battles going on between the women! If we look back to RHOBH when Adrienne Maloof sued Brandi Glanville over the comments she made about her surrogacy during filming, Adrienne abruptly quit the show, didn’t show up to the reunion and was embroiled in a legal battle with Brandi. In order to sue Brandi, she had to break her contract with Bravo. In an interview with Buzzfeed, Carole commented on housewives suing: “They can if they break the contract. But at the end of the day, I’m a single, working girl. I’m not going to take on Bravo.”

Source: lifeandstylemag.com
Katherine G

Katherine G

Katherine is the Managing Editor for Health and Parenting, but she has a soft spot for entertainment. She loves binging shows on Netflix, reality TV is a guilty pleasure, and country music is her go-to playlist. When she's not writing, she's spending time outdoors, especially with her puppy Zoey!