ET spoke with the 'Real Housewives' executive producer about the casting shake-up in Orange County.
Tamra Judge may have turned in her orange, but that doesn’t mean she’s done being a Housewife -- at least not according to Andy Cohen.
"She's been such an incredible part of the show for 12 years, that my only thing that I'll say about her is, you have not seen the last of Tamra on the Housewives of Orange County," the Real Housewives executive producer tells ET's Kevin Frazier, before turning to the cameras to send a message directly to the reality star: "Tamra, we love you. We're not totally done."
"I'm gonna call her today on the way to the airport," he adds. ET spoke with Cohen at SiriusXM’s pop-up "Radio Row" studio in Miami on Friday, where various SiriusXM personalities are broadcasting their shows ahead of Super Bowl LIV. Cohen has his own station, Radio Andy.
It's safe to say, the Bravo-verse was shook last weekend when Vicki Gunvalson and Judge issued back-to-back announcements on Instagram that they were exiting the long-running reality show, leaving behind just one-third of the "Tres Amigas," Shannon Beador. She and the rest of the season 14 lineup -- Kelly Dodd, Emily Simpson, Gina Kirschenheiter and Braunwyn Windham-Burke -- are all expected back for season 15.
"Yeah, we shook things up a little bit last week, it was a dramatic weekend in Orange County," Cohen concedes. "It always is, but last weekend especially. I did a kinda surprising post-exit interview with Tamra on my Instagram Live the other night, which was really meta and crazy. And I have to say, Tamra, she's so real and she always keeps it real, and she's sitting there with me, like, 'You fired me!'"
During the impromptu Instagram chat, Judge -- who owns a gym, Cut Fitness, and a CBD company, Vena Wellness -- repeatedly made jokes to Cohen about being "fired" or "out of work." A source previously told ET that Judge was actually invited back to film in a "limited capacity," an offer she turned down. Cohen says it’s not unusual for Housewives to announce they’re quitting, though, then change their minds. Still, it's usually in private.
"A lot of people have been talking about NeNe [Leakes] texting Wendy Williams, saying that she quit the Housewives," he brings up. "I was telling someone, look, I get text messages from Housewives all the time saying, 'I quit! That's it. I quit!' So, I say, OK, let's take a pause. Let's talk tomorrow, because maybe if we talk tomorrow, you won't feel as heated as you do today about it, so it's a natural process of the evolution of being a Housewife that you quit to me several times."
"Bethenny [Frankel] used to tell me that she was quitting occasionally," he adds. "She would go through her process."
Frankel did, in fact, walk away from The Real Housewives of New York City before its upcoming season started filming. Meanwhile, Leakes is still very much a cast member on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, with her publicist telling ET that Leakes was simply venting to Williams, not making a decision about her reality TV future.
Cohen says the "una amiga" left standing, Beador, hasn't really had time to process the casting changes, though, as she and her family mourn the loss of their friend, Beador's daughters' basketball coach, Christina Mauser, who was killed in the helicopter crash that also took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and six others.
"I think they're really actually processing that as a family, and [Mauser’s] husband was their Spanish teacher, the kids' Spanish teacher," Cohen notes. "They're really tied into that family."
As for other happenings in the Bravo world, Cohen has some things to share about the highly anticipated Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, the franchise expansion announced at BravoCon in November.
"Expect mountains, expect snow and expect, you know, some Mormons," he spills. "What would a Mormon Housewife look like? Stay tuned."
"A production company brought us unbelievable women, and the cool thing about Salt Lake City is, they're leading these aspirational lives," he adds. "When you look at the footage, it is a fantasy life. For me, just the snow and the scenery and the lifestyle, it's really cool."
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City will premiere sometime in 2020, and fans can get more from Cohen every day on Radio Andy, channel 102 on SiriusXM.