‘RHONY’: Is This OG Housewife Returning to Replace Bethenny Frankel?

Things are getting shaken up over in The Real Housewives of New York City land. OG housewife Bethenny Frankel recently announced that she was leaving the show to pursue other ventures.

“I have decided to leave the ‘Housewives’ franchise to explore my next chapter,” Frankel said in a statement to Variety. “It’s time to move on and focus on my daughter, my philanthropy and my production partnership with Mark Burnett, producing and starring in shows which represent a shift in the conversation for women. With the changes in modern culture, I want to highlight the strength, confidence and unstoppable power that women have. My experience at Bravo has been an incredibly magical ride. I am so grateful to them for highlighting my entrepreneurialism and allowing me to pave the way for many women to achieve their goals. I am excited for my future. The best is yet to come.”

But everyone knows that a Real Housewives‘ season is only as good as the cast. So, who will Bravo bring in to fill Frankel’s shoes?

Who is joining the show?

It has already been announced that one woman will be joining the cast of RHONY and that is Leah McSweeney. McSweeney is a podcast host, entrepreneur, and the owner of streetwear brand Married to the Mob.

“Leah is a friend of Tinsley [Mortimer’s] and the two have already filmed a workout scene together,” a source told Entertainment Tonight.

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Though McSweeney will definitely be on the show, there has been no word on whether she will receive an apple or just be a friend of the show.

Is Jill Zarin coming back?

Any true RHONY fan knows Jill Zarin. She was once a staple of the franchise. She was one of the original housewives from season one. After season four of the show, she took a break before making appearances in the last few seasons of the series.

But Zarin is open to coming back to the show in a full-time capacity.

“You’ll have to watch and see what happens,” she told HollywoodLife when asked if she would be on season 12 of RHONY.

She later added that she would be interested in replacing Frankel on the show if the opportunity arose.

“I will cross that bridge if it happens,” she told the outlet. “I’m open to all opportunities that come to me. I always say, say yes to everything; Or, you know, at least try to do everything and if it would work, if it could work out, sure.”

Do the other housewives want Zarin to return?

Housewives can only last on the show if they have at least one ally. And it seems like if Zarin were to come back, she would have that in Luann de Lesseps.

At a recent Countess & Friends cabaret show, Lesseps discussed the idea of Zarin returning to the show.

“OK, so we have to take a vote. Everybody… what do you think of Jill Zarin coming back?” she asked.

She shared a clip of the moment to her Instagram.

“Oh my gosh!! #RHONY @mrsjillzarin who do you think should come back?” she captioned the video.

“I am beyond flattered…. muah,” Zarin commented.