‘RHONY’: How Much Was the Cast Paid to Do the First Season?

The Real Housewives of New York City have come a long way. If you look back at the first season, the show is barely recognizable. Everything from the name to the members of the cast has changed. Let’s look back at some of the biggest differences between the start of the show and now, including the women’s salaries.

Back in 2008, the show began with cast members Bethenny Frankel, Jill Zarin, Ramona Singer, Alex McCord, and Luann de Lesseps. While many of the women have stayed on, their lives are completely different from when we first saw them.

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Tune in now for an all new #RHONY @bravotv!

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The name change

At first, the show was going to be called Manhattan Moms. While filming the season, Bravo realized that the show was eerily similar to The Real Housewives of Orange County, so they decided to make it a spin-off, instead. No one told the women that the name of the show changed until production had already filmed and edited parts of the first episode.

How much did the cast of ‘RHONY’ make the first season?

During the first season of RHONY, the cast members were not paid enough to quit their day jobs. In fact, the salary probably couldn’t even pay two months rent in most of their apartments.

“In the first season of Housewives, I made $7,250 for the entire season,” Frankel told CNBC.

The low pay made her lose credit in other arenas.

“I shouldn’t have been taken seriously in the beginning; I had no value,” she once told InStyle. “Or I didn’t know the value I would have yet. I was a person that Bravo was hiring for $7,250 for the entire first season.”

But after earning some clout on the show, she added a clause to her contract that would help her get more money.

“I knew what I wanted, which was to keep anything that I did in business,” she explained. “If you go on a reality show, you have to give a percentage [of any business you promote on the show] to the network — but I never did that. The industry ended up calling it ‘The Bethenny Clause.'”

In 2016, Frankel earned $1.5 million for being on the show, according to Reality Blurb.

Housewife Ramona Singer pulls in quite a bit less than her costar, Frankel. She reportedly earns $500,000 per season on the show. To make more money, Singer also has a pinot grigio line, a jewelry line, and sells skin care products.

Dorinda Medley makes even less than Singer. She reportedly receives around $250,000 per season of the show.

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The little Mermaids ‍♀️

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Cast changes

Cast changes are a common thing in The Real Housewives world. It keeps the show interesting and brings in new drama each season. While audiences love seeing new people on the show, they also are loyal to the originals. A lot of people think that Frankel was an original cast member on the show, but actually, when the show was called Manhattan Moms, Frankel wasn’t one of the moms. She was added later without the knowledge of the other women.

Read more: ‘Real Housewives’: How Producers Trick Stars to Get the Most Drama

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