Which ‘Real Housewives’ Series Has Been on the Air the Longest?

Real Housewives of Orange County
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ORANGE COUNTY — “Italian Night Fight” Episode 1310 — Pictured: Kelly Dodd | Phillip Faraone/Bravo

Thousands flock to their TV’s to get the hottest drama around when any of the Real Housewives series air. Since 2006, when the franchise first launched on the Bravo network, the housewives have been entertaining the masses with their hilarious taglines, over-the-top antics, and larger-than-life personalities.

But which Housewives series has been the most successful? We break down which ones continue to entertain, and which series has been on the air the longest. 

‘The Real Housewives of New York City’

One of the most perennially popular series on television, and the second oldest in the Housewives franchise, The Real Housewives of New York City spawned some of the most popular (and most reviled) personalities in the franchise history. The show has featured a variety of different housewives over the years, ever since the series premiere in 2008, but probably the biggest name to come from the show has been Skinnygirl maven Bethenny Frankel. 

For over a decade, the series has focused on Luann de Lesseps, Alex McCord, Jill Zarin, and of course, Frankel, as they navigate the troubled waters of their personal lives and fortunes. The eleventh season is due to return in March 2019, and fans will undoubtedly be riveted to the misadventures of some of their favorite housewives.

‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’

In a franchise founded on drama, The Real Housewives of Atlanta might possibly be the most dramatic installment. It was the third Housewives series developed and it premiered in October 2008. Some of the fan-favorite housewives that have appeared on the show include Kim Zolciak, NeNe Leakes, Lisa Wu, Cynthia Bailey, Kandi Burruss, and Eva Marcille. 

Not only is The Real Housewives of Atlanta continuously the highest-rated installment of the series, but it has launched to fame such reality TV superstars as Kim Zolciak, who even managed to score her own Bravo spinoff series, Don’t Be Tardy, featuring her husband Kroy Biermann and their brood of children. Kim Zolciak has managed to make it big from her Housewives fame and has even launched her own line of successful skin care products, despite dealing with near-constant criticism over her changing appearance.

The eleventh season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta is currently streaming on Bravo, and it is highly likely, what with the show’s immense popularity, that it gets renewed for multiple successive seasons. 

‘The Real Housewives of Orange County’

The OG of the Housewives shows, and the one that has been on the air the longest is The Real Housewives of Orange County. The show premiered in March 2006, and for thirteen seasons and counting, has brought viewers into the fabulous lives of some of the wealthiest women in California.

Some of the women that have appeared in The Real Housewives of Orange County over the years have included Kimberly Bryant, Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge, Shannon Beador, Kelly Dodd, and Emily Simpson. Of the original housewives, Vicki Gunvalson has likely become the best known. Her outrageous personality, opulent lifestyle, and family politics drew viewers to her, and over the years, Gunvalson has appeared in other shows such as Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and A-List Awards

The Real Housewives of Orange County has been renewed for an incredible fourteenth season, and will soon be returning to Bravo. Hardcore fans of the series that started it all can soon get their fix of drama, humor, and of course, expensive handbags. As for the franchise itself, it is showing no signs of slowing down, with new shows on the horizon and no end to the feuds, social media spats, and plastic surgery rumors.