Four years after quitting the Real Housewives Of New York City, veteran Bravo star – and head honcho of the Skinnygirl empire – Bethenny Frankel may return for season seven as a full-time cast member. Conflicts between Bethenny, Jill Zarin and Kelly Bensimon were a key reason for her departure from the show back in season three. Now that Jill and Kelly are both long gone from the show (but not from our hearts!) I guess Bethenny is cool with coming back. Only Ramona Singer and LuAnn de Lesseps are still around from the early days, and both of them are now in part-time roles.
This announcement makes a lot of sense to me from Bravo’s perspective – RHONY ratings have been on a steady decline for years and this is a sure way to get more viewers back on board. I’m just not so sure about why Bethenny would do this.
I am, and always have been, a fan of Bethenny Frankel – hell, I even read and enjoyed her silly inspirational book, A Place Of Yes. But I have to admit that her move back to Bravo seems like a step backwards, and a desperate one at that. It’s like, “Well, I lost my reality show when my marriage ended and then my talk show got cancelled. I guess I’ll be a Real Housewife again!” you know? It’s kind of depressing, especially since she certainly doesn’t need the exposure to pay the bills. This feels more like a personal need for the spotlight – and that bums me out.
What do you think – do you think going back to RHONY is a step down for Bethenny? Are you excited to have her back? Should I start a Kickstarter project now to get Kelly Bensimon and Jill Zarin back on the show? Just kidding on the last one…sort of.
UPDATE: Bethenny has officially confirmed her return to the show, stating that she’s ready for a fresh start.
“I’m such a different person and in such a different place than when I was on first season…Slightly exciting, a little bit of anxiousness, but it feels fresh. It doesn’t feel like [how] I felt going into the third season of the Housewives. There was just so much muck and I just didn’t feel it was good energy.”
Do you think Jill Zarin is on the phone with her lawyers, right this very second?