The daytime talk show returns Sept. 20, and the actress and TV host teased the big changes that are going to be happening for season 8. One major change, the ladies of The Real are headed back to the studio.
"We are back in studio, so that in itself is amazing, insane," Houghton told ET's Rachel Smith at the 12th Annual Rookie USA Fashion Show at 608 Fifth Avenue during New York Fashion Week on Thursday. It will be the first time she and her co-hosts -- Loni Love, Jeannie Mai and Garcelle Beauvais -- will be together on set since the coronavirus pandemic surged in March 2020.
"There are going to be some changes, but we are actually really excited about rebranding the show and doing something really special and different," she added, teasing the new format and look of the hit show.
Houghton noted that it's unlikely they will have a live studio audience when they return, but hopes the viewers at home will embrace the revamped feel of The Real.
"But we are going to make it more cozy and more intimate, and I feel like the viewers at home are really going to love that," she shared, hinting at even more revealing conversations than ever before. "I will say that I am so excited for this season just going deeper. And I feel like after eight years, you could even ask, like, what else do you have to say or what are the things that we would never say that we really need to say? And I feel like that is what season 8 is about for us."
She also took a moment to reflect on the Emmy-winning show's longevity and how rare it is for a talk show to last as long as theirs has in the current media landscape.
"I can't believe that we used to call our show 'The little show that could,' and we are now an Emmy-winning show and we are on season 8,'" she expressed. "If we are just being honest, daytime talk shows do not last that long. So the fact that we have been able to last this long [is amazing]."
Houghton, meanwhile, was on hand to watch her nieces, Jet Marie and Beau Harper, walk in the runway show. Needless to say, she was a proud auntie.
"They have been doing this since, my oldest niece, she is now 9 years old and she started when she was 3. So this is a family tradition," she raved. "Rookie USA is a must, all the time for New York Fashion Week and the NBA All Star Weekends. We all show up and show out!"
And the former Cheetah Girl has also been giving her nieces some advice on posing, but also lets them know to have fun.
"We absolutely practice at home and then at the end I am like, 'Alright, now just have fun with it!'" she expressed. "I think it is great that kids get involved in things like this from a young age. I think it builds confidence, I think fashion is a great tool to allow them to show their personalities and just to have fun."