Bravo reveals 'Real Housewives of New York City' cast, to debut Mar. 4
By Christopher Rocchio, 01/14/2008
Bravo has announced the identities of the five women featured on The Real Housewives of New York City, an East Coast version of the network's The Real Housewives of Orange County reality series that is scheduled to premiere on Tuesday, March 4 at 11PM ET/PT.
Following its debut broadcast, The Real Housewives of Orange County spin-off will move into its regular time period of Tuesdays at 10PM ET/PT beginning March 11.
Previously announced under the working title Manhattan Moms, The Real Housewives of New York City will chronicle the lives of the women as they balance their busy schedules while living highfalutin lifestyles.
"Everybody likes to compare themselves to other people," co-star Jill Zarin told the Daily News. "Are we better mothers? Are we not better mothers? I'm scared to death. I'm scared to death because I have no control over the editing process. Though I trust them, you never really know if what you were thinking at the time is coming across to the viewer the way you want it to... Ask me how my life is three months from now."
Zarin was one of the first women approached by producers to appear on the show, according to the Daily News, and also played a prominent role in helping find her fellow cast members.
"I like to call myself a connector," Zarin told the Daily News. "And not just in the show. I get a personal satisfaction introducing people to other people."
Frankel -- who despite the show's current and former titles, is not married and has no children -- was initially reluctant about participating when first approached by Zarin.
"She was asking me to meet the people from the show and literally begging me to be on the show," Frankel told the Daily News. "And I was like, 'I'm not a mom. Nor am I a wife. Nor do I live in a house.' ... But I just had a weird gut [feeling] that I should do it."
The Real Housewives of New York Citybegan filming last summer, with its co-stars being followed by cameras one to five days a week, according to the Daily News, which added the "complicated schedules and skill for micromanagement" shown by the cast was different than their Orange County counterparts.
"We are pretty different people," The Real Housewives of New York City co-star Alex McCord told the Daily News. "We are not in a gated community. We are in the thick of things, doing our activities and coexisting with 8 million other people."
The Real Housewives of New York City is produced by Ricochet Television Inc. with Jennifer O'Connell and Nick Emmerson serving as executive producers and Lenid Rolov and Kirsty Robson serving as co-executive producers.
"This series will explore the personal and professional lives of five ambitious women who in the upper crust of New York," said Bravo executive Frances Berwick. "The Real Housewives of Orange County continues to thrive and this series will explore many of the same relatable issues -- relationships, children, and work-life balance -- while giving a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make it in the privileged world of Manhattan society."
The five women featured in The Real Housewives of New York City -- and their Bravo-supplied bios -- are:
Alex McCord -- an up-and-comer in New York society -- is a high-powered career woman juggling two children, a husband, and a thriving social calendar. Her children take music, art, swimming and French classes, and their live in Au Pair only speaks French to them, in hopes the kids will soon be bi-lingual. In addition to her busy career and social life, Alex is a former actress and model, and currently a graphic designer within the visual merchandising world.
Bethenny Frankel is a single socialite in her 30's with a burgeoning career as a natural foods chef, a wealthy Wall Street boyfriend with three children, and is a staple on the New York social scene. She is a celebrity chef who owns her own company, Bethenny Bakes, has a health column in Hamptons Magazine, is a TV spokesperson for Health Magazine and for Pepperidge Farms new line of healthy foods, and was a runner-up on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Her main focus these days is settling down and starting a family.
Jill Zarin is the quintessential New York woman. She is a regular on the Manhattan social circuit, as well as an accomplished businesswoman and a talented photographer. Jill is married to Bobby Zarin, a successful entrepreneur, and together they operate Zarin Fabrics and Home Furnishings. Jill is also involved in numerous charities and counts many celebrities among her friends. A permanent fixture in the Hamptons as well as Manhattan, Jill juggles her career with being a wife and a mother to her daughter Allyson and her stepchildren David (and wife Jill), Jennifer and Jonathan.
LuAnn de Lesseps is a real-life Countess. Her husband, Alexandre Count de Lesseps, is a French aristocrat (of the Suez Canal dynasty). With LuAnn's Countess title comes a great sense of pride - the de Lesseps presented New York City with the Statue of Liberty. She uses her title to help with her various charities and is a socialite very much in demand, as well as a busy mom of two. The de Lesseps travel extensively around the world, with trips to exotic locales in Italy, Switzerland, France and Africa. She also teaches etiquette on morning television shows and has a local cable show on WVVH-TV in the Hamptons called The Countess Report.
Ramona Singer is a busy entrepreneur. She owns her own business, R.M.S. Fashions, a jewelry line, truefaithjewelry.com, a clothing line "True Faith," and is developing a skin care line as well. She and her husband Mario, a third generation jeweler, and their 13-year-old daughter Avery, live in a striking four-bedroom condo in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. They also have a beautiful second home in Southampton directly on the water. Ramona is an avid tennis player and loves to entertain and is constantly organizing dinner parties and social events.