Skip to main content

How do Bravo producers determine which cast members will return for another season of the Housewives?

Housewife friend and podcast host, David Yontef recently dished about the role the season reunion plays in determining who comes back and who doesn’t. “When you go to the reunion, the reunion is not your closure for the season,” he said during a recent Patreon episode. “It is your audition for next season.”

Dorinda Medley and Ramona Singer
Dorinda Medley and Ramona Singer | Bravo Media

“The consumer of reality TV loves to see change from season to season,” he continued. “That is the only way to keep it interesting. When I say change, I don’t mean change in the cast, I mean change, personal growth, life evolution.”

Producers hope to see the show evolve and grow

Yontef shared that the show has to evolve in order to move forward. “If a Housewife was a demure wallflower that season, the viewer would love to see her break out of her shell the next and come in with a bang,” he said.

“If a Housewife had a really harsh season and was a terror, coming to the reunion to double down is the worst thing you could do,” he continued. “It shows no personal growth like you sat there and watched yourself back all season and now are not sorry and have not changed?” 

“How much fun is that going to be for an audience to watch next season,” he questioned. “It will just be more of the same.” He added that other factors beyond the reunion that come into play as to whether or not a cast member will return.

“Like there are things where it is clear,” he said. “Leah [McSweeney from The Real Housewives of New York City] could have shown up at the reunion and short of bringing a gun, she’s coming back. But the majority of people go and it’s like this is your make or break [moment].”

The cast needs to work cohesively

Yontef went on to explain what he thinks producers want. “Look I don’t work for Bravo and I am not a producer, but the thing every Housewife should remember is this is an ensemble show,” he said. “The sum of the whole is greater than its parts.”

“Everyone keeps asking me if Dorinda [Medley from The Real Housewives of New York City] was let go or left on her own,” he remarked. “I am not privy to that information. You would have to call Andy Cohen and the powers that be at Bravo. I do think though that any time a particular Housewife overpowers the show and it’s all about her, and I am not saying this as it relates to Dorinda, I am saying this in general for any franchise, you are at risk to be let go.”


‘RHONY’ Season 12 Reunion Will Feature Explosive Clashes Between Dorinda Medley, Ramona Singer, and Tinsley Mortimer

“I think that is a crucial mistake that a lot of Housewives make,” he added. “You need to bring the drama and have opinions and something to say. But when you hijack the show so it’s about you all day, every day, and overpower it, you are too much drama, especially in the world we are living in now. It a red flag sign that you will probably be on the chopping block. That’s when it brings down the overall quality of the show and it goes from being fun and salacious to watch to this is kinda uncomfortable.”