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'The Real Housewives of Orange County's eighth season to debut April 1, add Lydia McLaughlin

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/20/2013 

The Real Housewives of Orange County will be kicking off the month of April with a brand new season and cast member.

Bravo has announced the eighth season of The Real Housewives of Orange County will premiere Monday, April 1 at 8PM ET/PT and feature Lydia McLaughlin joining the cast.

The series' eighth season will continue to star returning Housewives Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Barney, Gretchen Rossi, Alexis Bellino, and Heather Dubrow. In addition to McLaughlin's appearance, original Housewife Lauri Peterson will make a "surprising return" since she left the show four seasons ago and try to mend some former friendships.

Bellino's participation represents an apparent change of heart from her September announcement that she wouldn't be returning to the show. 

During the upcoming edition of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Gunvalson becomes a new grandmother to Briana's baby boy, Barney moves in with new fiance Eddie and they struggle to merge their lives with career and wedding plans ontop of it, Rossi attempts to start a family with newly-employed boyfriend Slade, Dubrow gets offered acting roles on television sitcoms but it causes tension in her marriage to Terry, and Bellino feels bullied by the ladies but finds comfort from Gunvalson.

As for McLaughlin, the new Housewife who "comes from a wealthy family and admits to living a privileged life," she owns and operates a high-end magazine with her husband Doug and is a devout Christian who has much in common with Bellino. However, some of the other ladies turn on her again.

The Real Housewives of Orange County is produced by Evolution Media with Douglas Ross, Gregory Stewart, Kathleen French, Scott Dunlop, and Kevin Lee serving as executive producers.

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