‘RHOA’: Producer Shares Why Porsha Williams is Breakout Star of the Show

After nine seasons on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Porsha Williams exited the show amid her messy engagement to her former co-star’s ex-husband. When viewers first met Williams, she was a committed stay-at-home wife and full-time stepmother. By her second season, her life was completely different, and she emerged as a successful businesswoman in later seasons. Because of showcasing her difficult transition, a former show producer says Williams is the breakout star of the reality series. 

Porsha Williams smiles during interview on 'Watch What Happens Live;' a former producer of 'RHOA' says Williams is the breakout star of the show
Porsha Williams on ‘Watch What Happens Live’ | Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank

Porsha Williams was nearly fired from the show after her debut season

Williams joined the show in Season 5, showcasing her traditional homemaker lifestyle to her then-husband, NBA legend Kordell Stewart. It was clear that Williams didn’t want her main focus to be her marriage and home any longer, but Stewart refused to accept her desired changes. By the reunion special, her marriage was seemingly on life support, with Stewart opting not to attend the taping. 

News of Stewart filing for divorce hit the blogosphere just days after the reunion was filmed. Cohen says that a tearful speech Williams gave about her dedication to Stewart and their marriage was the shift he needed to keep her on as a cast member.

Source: YouTube

“There was a fairly healthy dialogue amongst the producers about whether Porsha was gonna come back at that time,” Cohen told Jenny McCarthy on her podcast. “She got up there at that reunion, and I was watching her, and [when] I left, I was like, I stan for Porsha. That was incredible, and she cemented her place on the show.”

Initially, he was uncertain if she’d return. But the reunion speech changed everything. “I totally underestimated this woman, and look at where she is now on the show,” he added.

Producer Carlos King fought for her to be on the show

As producers were scrambling to decide whether or not they’d have Williams back for another season, they were also in need of a new executive producer. King was an associate producer and supervising producer for the first four seasons before taking a hiatus.

He left the show after Season 4. The network approached him about returning as the EP. He explained on his Reality With the King podcast that it was known behind the scenes that Williams wasn’t a producer favorite. King explained:

Source: YouTube

I enjoyed Porsha on her first season…and I remember talking to producers because as I was in the conversation of doing Nene Leakes’ wedding special and preparing for that, they asked me if I could help out with the Season 5 reunion…I was there for that and I remember talking to the executives and saying like, ‘Oh, I love Porsha.’ Because there were conversations about whether or not Porsha should come back. And I was like, ‘Hey, as someone who did not work on Season 5, and I actually watched the season so I’m on the outside looking in, I think Porsha is just getting started. I don’t think Porsha has truly shown everything she is, and I am fascinated with Porsha, and I really do think we all should give Porsha a chance.’

He explains why she’s a breakout star of the show

Williams was kept on, and the following season chronicled her divorce from Stewart. It was King’s decision to showcase more personal stories of the cast and their marriages, versus focusing solely on their petty drama with one another. King says Williams was the breakout star because of the level of vulnerability she showed while going through such a public divorce.

“The fact that she was going through this very tumultuous divorce at a very bad time in her life, and it was real. And that was the thing. I kept telling the producers, ‘Honey, follow Porsha wherever she goes because we are following a woman who’s going through this divorce to a public figure, and we have to see that,” he explained. “Porsha had more scenes taped than anybody because Porsha was unraveling right before our eyes, and because Porsha was so great, she allowed us to document it every step of the way.”

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