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.