Bravo has announced The Real Housewives of Atlanta's third season will premiere Monday, October 4 at 9PM ET/PT and confirmed Lisa Wu Hartwell will be departing the reality series and Cynthia Bailey and Phaedra Parks will be joining it.

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The Real Housewives of Atlanta's four other second-season housewives -- Kandi Burruss, NeNe Leakes, Sheree Whitfield, and Kim Zolciak -- will all return for the new season, according to Bravo.

While the cast changes were previously unconfirmed by the network, Bailey and Parks' additions had been reported earlier this year and Hartwell had confirmed her The Real Housewives exit last month.

"She doesn't want to just be a reality star," her publicist said in July.

Hartwell will leave The Real Housewives of Atlanta within the third season's first few episodes, according to reports. 

Bravo renewed The Real Housewives of Atlanta in January and announced Burruss, Hartwell, Leakes, Whitfield, and Zolciak would all be returning for the third season in March, but reports of Hartwell's departure had circulated since shortly after Bravo's announcement.  

Bailey is an "Alabama-born beauty" who "moved to New York City 18 years ago to pursue her dream of modeling," according to the network, but now lives with her 10-year-old daughter in Atlanta -- where she has become a close friend of Leakes' and found herself at a "pivotal" moment in her relationship with Peter Thomas, her boyfriend of three years. 

"He has issued her an ultimatum, and... she must come to terms with her marriage hang-ups or risk losing him for good," according to Bravo.

Parks is the managing partner of her own Atlanta-based The Parks Group boutique law firm which caters to entertainers and athletes.

A "self-proclaimed Southern Belle," she is a friend of Burruss' who arrives on the Housewives scene pregnant with her first child and "under scrutiny" because she is married to a younger man who did a "stint in prison for a 'white collar crime,'" according to the network.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta's returning housewives will also encounter their share of drama during the new season.

Leakes will find herself in a strained marriage due to her husband's unemployment and her own attempt to become a career woman, while Burruss will attempt to rebuild her personal and professional worlds following the killing of her former fiance and her reunion with her father, who she learns is now sick with cancer.
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In addition, Zolciak will struggle to prepare for an opening act gig on Burruss' summer promo tour and balance her rollercoaster relationships, while Whitfield will attempt to launch an acting career and begin dating a doctor.