Bravo renews 'The Real Housewives of NYC,' casting for new women
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/07/2009
Bravo announced it has renewed The Real Housewives of New York City for a third season and begun casting for additional housewives to join the reality series, as four of its stars reportedly remained unsigned.
While Alex McCord, Bethenny Frankel, Jill Zarin, LuAnn de Lesseps, Ramona Singer and Kelly Bensimon have all been asked to reprise their The Real Housewives of New York City roles for the third season, only Bensimon has signed on to the new season, the New York Daily Newsreported Monday.
"We're in discussions for next season," McCord told the Daily News. "Let's put it this way: We're headed to Australia to promote the show. And we wouldn't be doing that if we weren't ready for next season."
The reason for the holdout, according to a network insider, is money.
"The housewives all want six-figure deals," the source told the Daily News. "They barely made 10 grand for the first season, and now are all a bit too big for their britches. They want the whole shebang: a clothing allowance, money for hair and makeup, a set raise and a promised amount of screen time."
Just in case any refuse to ink new contracts, the Daily News reported Bravo has been interviewing "at least 30" potential cast members.
This isn't the first time Bravo has used casting as a negotiating tactic when dealing with its The Real Housewivesfranchise.
In March 2007, The Los Angeles Times published a report in which several of The Real Housewives of Orange County cast members voiced their frustration about their Bravo relationship and the endorsement, publicity and media appearance restrictions the network had contractually placed upon them.
Two weeks after The Times' March report was published, Bravo released a brief press release in which it announced it was beginning casting calls for Calabasas and Orange County women that were interested in starring in "new editions" of its "The Real Housewives franchise." However according to a production company webpage, the purpose of The Real Housewives casting calls were to find "5 fabulous families to be featured" in The Real Housewives of Orange County's third season.
"They made under $10,000 for the first season, while the Orange County housewives get $100,000," an insider told the Daily News at the time. "They can't even get their hair done at these prices."
All four women eventually resigned and starred in the show's second season earlier this year, which averaged 1.95 million total viewers and 1.44 million viewers in the Adults 18-49 demographic.
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