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Bravo reveals 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey,' to debut May 12


By John Bracchitta, 03/19/2009 

Bravo has announced that The Real Housewives of New Jersey, the newest installment in its The Real Housewives reality series franchise, will premiere on Tuesday, May 12 at 11PM ET/PT.

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Similar to the three other iterations of The Real Housewives franchise, The Real Housewives of New Jersey will follow the daily lives and drama of five New Jersey women, not all of whom are actually housewives.

However, in a The Real Housewives first, several women will have a much deeper relationship than just appearing in the same reality series.

Housewives Caroline and Dina Manzo will be the first pair of sisters to star on a The Real Housewives edition. Additionally, their husbands are two brothers who run a successful catering facility together.  Further adding to family affair will be Jacqueline Laurita, Caroline and Dina's sister-in-law who's married to their brother Chris.

Rounding out the cast will be Teresa Giudice and Danielle Staub, a newly single mother with two daughters who, according to Bravo, prides herself on her past celebrity hook-ups as well as her title of being the first woman in New Jersey to get her own Black American Express Card.  Giudice is a married, Jersey-born girl with three daughters who has earned a degree in Fashion Marketing and Management from Berkeley College and worked in the fashion industry in New York.

"The Real Housewives franchise is a groundbreaking cultural portrait that continues to grow in popularity, with double digit gains for the latest seasons of Orange County and New York City, and driving over three million viewers for the first season of the Atlanta edition," Bravo Media general manager Frances Berwick said. "We could not be more excited to take our viewers inside the lives of this new and very different group of fabulous women from New Jersey."

Although The Real Housewives of New Jersey will be the fourth The Real Housewives edition to premiere, the show was first announced last April -- before The Real Housewives of Atlanta, which already aired its first season last fall, was announced.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey is being produced by Sirens Media, with Rebecca Toth Diefenbach, Valerie Haselton and Nina Diaz serving as executive producers.

Below are Bravo's complete descriptions for The Real Housewives of New Jersey's women.

- Caroline Manzo, the epitome of a strong New Jersey woman, is a devoted wife and mother of three, who always puts her family first while making time for her career. Married for more than 25 years, her husband Albert runs a very successful catering facility, The Brownstone. The business has been with the family for over 30 years and is one of the premiere event spaces in New Jersey. Caroline tries to instill the value of both book smarts and street smarts in her children. Her oldest son, Albie, is studying to be a lawyer and her son Christopher is a young entrepreneur, while her daughter Lauren is dedicated to helping the family business. Although Caroline spends the majority of her time with her family, she is also the owner of two successful businesses, Opus Properties, a real estate firm and "4 My Mom," a children's accessories line. In addition, she serves on the board of her sister, Dina's foundation, Project Ladybug and is affiliated with The Carolyn Gable Expect A Miracle Foundation, which helps single mothers. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family on the Jersey Shore, where she has been vacationing for years. Often described as a feisty spitfire, Caroline manages to have it all -- family, friends and a career. In her opinion, that is what makes her a Real Housewife of New Jersey.

- Danielle Staub is a tough cookie, and she knows it. "You either love me or you love to hate me, there is no in between." She prides herself on being one of the first women in New Jersey (and 14th person in the country) to have a Black American Express Card and her history of celebrity hook-ups is one for the record books. Known for being brutally honest, Danielle enjoys pushing people's buttons and doesn't apologize for it. This newly single mother puts her family first and is constantly on-the-go with her two active daughters, Christine and Jillian. Danielle involves herself in every aspect of her daughters' lives, whether going to their recitals or attending track meets; she does everything with her girls, whom she considers her best friends. An active member of her local parish, Danielle attends mass regularly and engages her daughters in religious education and community involvement through the parish. While her family takes precedence, Danielle never misses an opportunity to hit the social scene and makes sure to go out and have a good time. Appearance is also paramount to her -- she takes a lot of pride in taking care of herself and loves to self indulge by lying out in the sun or the occasional massage.

- Dina Manzo is a family woman, a business owner, and the founder of the non-profit organization Project Ladybug. She balances a career as an interior designer and owner of a successful event planning company with being a loving wife to her husband Tommy and mother to her teenage daughter, Alexia. Dina is best friends with her sister, Caroline and both of their husbands work together running one of New Jersey's premiere catering facilities, The Brownstone. She calls her husband the love of her life and they have been happily married for more than four years. Dina is extremely passionate about her foundation, Project Ladybug, and is dedicated to giving back to children with cancer. Her goal is to one day open "Ladybug Houses" so that these children and their families have somewhere safe and comfortable to call home while receiving treatment.

- Jacqueline Laurita is a former cosmetologist in Las Vegas turned full-time stay-at-home New Jersey mom. Her husband Chris, brother of Caroline and Dina Manzo, owns several wholesale apparel businesses and the couple has been together for more than 13 years. They have a six-year old son, CJ, and Jacqueline has a teenage daughter, Ashley, from a previous marriage. Being a young mother to a teenage daughter has its challenges, but Jacqueline is extremely close with her children. Her family is her main priority, her husband is her best friend and she is hoping to expand on the family in the near future. Jacqueline and her sisters-in-law enjoy spending time together and can often be found shopping at the latest boutiques or getting their hair done for a night out. Aside from spending time with family, Jacqueline enjoys cooking, working out, and going to the spa. She likes to pamper herself with regular facials, manicures and pedicures. She believes in taking care of herself and doesn't plan on just growing old gracefully. Always looking for a good laugh, Jacqueline tries to see the humor in everything and is often referred to as the peacemaker between her friends. Although she lives a lavish lifestyle, Jacqueline considers herself to be very down to earth and knows that she is blessed.

- Teresa Giudice is a true Jersey girl born and raised. Her parents emigrated from Italy and raised both Teresa and her brother Giuseppe, in an Italian Catholic home. She grew up in Paterson, New Jersey, where she met her husband, Joe. The couple played house together as children and now after being married for more than eight years, they are in the process of building their own massive dream home. Joe, an entrepreneur, owns several successful businesses throughout New Jersey and Teresa spends most of her time raising their three beautiful daughters Gia, Gabriella and Milania. She manages each of the girls' busy schedules, shuffling them from dance, gymnastics, acting, voice and guitar lessons – and Teresa herself teaches them all how to be "fabulous." Before becoming a housewife, Teresa earned a degree in Fashion Marketing and Management from Berkeley College. She worked in the fashion industry in New York and hopes to one-day return to the fashion world, but is focused for now on raising her children. She's also involved in community service, and serves as a committee member for Project Ladybug, a foundation created by Dina Manzo. Teresa is proud to be from the Garden State and happy to live and raise her kids there. She has a beach house on the Jersey Shore and loves to entertain her family and friends while enjoying all that life has to offer. 

(Photo credit NBC/Virginia Sherwood)

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