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Bravo's new 'The Real Housewives' season to debut January 16

By Reality TV World staff, 11/15/2006 

Bravo has announced that the second season of The Real Housewives of Orange County, a docu-soap reality series that follows a group of real-life "desperate" housewives who live in a wealthy Southern California gated community, will premiere Tuesday, January 16 At 10PM.

Four of the first season's five housewives -- Jo De La Rosa, Vicki Gunvalson, Jeana Keough and Lauri Waring -- will return for the show's second season. Kimberly Bryant -- whom Bravo had billed as a 40-something "classic trophy wife" during the show's first season -- will not be part of the The Real Housewives' second season cast.

Back in early June -- a month before Bravo formally announced the show's renewal -- Bryant, a "friend and neighbor" of The Real Housewives creator Scott Dunlop, and her husband Scott Bryant, a corporate executive who worked for Black & Decker during the first season's filming, were reportedly involved in an Orange County house party incident that ended with Scott Bryant facing misdemeanor assault and battery charges.

According to The Orange County Register, the incident began when Bryant and her husband crashed a house party thrown by Janine Sabella, a resident of the Coto de Caza community in which most of The Real Housewives' women live. After arriving, Bryant allegedly proceeded to make insulting comments about Jana Kindchadwick -- a 42-year-old fitness club manager who, prior to Bryant's participation in The Real Housewives, had been friends with Bryant -- and another friend of Sabella's. Frustrated that Bryant subsequently proceeded to ignore Kindchadwick's attempts to confront her about her behavior, Kindchadwick then "poured a small cup of Red Bull on the back of Bryant's head." Despite the incident, Bryant reportedly continued to ignore Kindchadwick until, about thirty minutes later, Scott Bryant (who had been socializing in another part of the house) suddenly told Kindchadwick to "'stay away from my wife" and -- after first grabbing a full bottle of champagne and dousing her with it -- allegedly proceeded to grab and push Kindchadwick and punch her in the head at least once.

Kindchadwick's boyfriend -- who also previously used to be Bryant's fitness trainer -- then reportedly jumped on Scott Bryant, after which the pair were separated and Sabella says she asked the Bryants to leave. According to The Register, Scott Bryant later told Orange County Sheriff's Department deputies -- who were called (along with paramedics who treated Kindchadwick for a split lip) to the house after the Bryants had left the party -- that "he was afraid of [the 130-pound] Kindchadwick because he thought (mistakenly) she was a bodybuilder."

The Orange County District Attorney filed misdemeanor assault and battery charges against Scott Bryant, who reportedly no longer works for Black & Decker, in July. Shortly thereafter, the Bryants put their house up for sale and moved to Chicago. According to The Register, The Real Housewives' second season premiere will include footage showing Bryant moving out of the community.

According to Bravo, Tammy Knickerbocker -- billed as "a natural beauty who previously was among the wealthiest families in the community, but today lives a more modest lifestyle as a divorced mother of three" -- will replace Bryant as The Real Housewives' fifth housewife. Similar to Waring's first season storyline, Knickerbocker has "lost much of her family's fortune" and "struggling" (along with her children) to adjust to a "new lifestyle" that requires living in a "more modest" million dollar rental home.

Meanwhile Waring -- last season's hard-working recently divorced mother of three -- will be spending the show's second season channeling Carol Brady as she attempts to blend her children with those of George, a new well-to-do boyfriend who has four children from a previous marriage.

Although The Real Housewives' Spring 2006 first season didn't deliver massive Project Runway-like ratings, it was nonetheless a rating success for Bravo (which as a basic cable network, measures ratings success in much smaller numbers than the over-the-air broadcast networks.) The Real Housewives' first season averaged 646,000 total viewers, 503,000 viewers between ages 18-49, and 440,000 viewers between 25-54 -- numbers that represented a 19% increase in Bravo's previous year's time period average in total viewers, a 47% increase in Adults 18-49, and a 26% increase in Adults 25-54. The Real Housewives also had a median age of 34.4, a figure that made it youngest-skewing show on Bravo's schedule during its first season run.

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