If there's one thing getting Bravo fans through quarantine, it's the Real Housewives.
ET's Nischelle Turner video chatted with the king of Bravo, Bravo, f**king Bravo, Andy Cohen, to get updates on all the Housewives cities -- from how far The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills viewers are from seeing the Denise Richards-Brandi Glanville drama play out, to what’s going on with Dorinda Medley on The Real Housewives of New York City, if NeNe Leakes will even appear on part three of The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s virtual reunion and how production on the remaining shows in the franchise -- Potomac, Orange County, Dallas, New Jersey and newbie Salt Lake City -- have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Five episodes down, 15 or more to go! Andy tells ET that this season of RHOBH might be its most supersized yet, which means some drama may take longer to get to the screen than expected. For example, the Brandi Glanville of it all. Last winter, Brandi -- a former full-time Housewife -- began filming in a limited capacity. Then, reports surfaced that she and Denise Richards were involved in some sort of affair, rumors Brandi has played coy about and Denise has vehemently denied.
"[Brandi] makes her first appearance at episode 10," Andy teases, adding that everything "plays when it is relevant to play," including the much-hyped "Bravo, Bravo, f**king Bravo" moment. As seen in the season premiere's look ahead, Denise shouted that now-iconic phrase at the cameras in order to break the fourth wall, something she thought would make the footage unusable. The dinner in which she pulled the move already aired, but the moment was omitted. Expect it in a flashback down the line.
"I think what's great about the show this season is, I know that a lot of [Lisa Vanderpump's] fans didn't like it that -- they felt like she was kind of the focus of a lot of drama that they didn't want her to be involved in," Andy shares of season 10. "So, I think it's great that the women were able to move in their own directions and they're certainly a group of MVPs, and there's a lot going on this season without Lisa and, you know, it's great. It's a whole energized show and people are really loving it and the ratings are up."
Andy and the women of RHOA made Housewives history with the first-ever virtual reunion, which concludes on Sunday. Part two of the special left off with NeNe Leakes walking off for the second time and, judging by promos, she may not appear in part three at all.
"I don't know if I want to give that away, but the conversation -- there are some surprises in part three," Andy says. "And look, I'm always disappointed when people leave, 'cause the whole point is we're there to talk, so why are you running off?"
"The weird thing is, she was coming into the reunion in such a great place," he continues. "She had such a great second half of the season. She made amends to everybody. She has a great song out, so she came into the reunion in a really great place, I think, but didn't enjoy it."
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‘RHOA’: NeNe Leakes Says Two Peach Holders Need to Go After Virtual Reunion (Exclusive)
Still, Andy says he remains a "big fan" of NeNe, who seems split on whether she wants to continue with the show after this season. The other women all brought their A-game to the taping, which pleasantly surprised the Watch What Happens Live host.
"I was worried about it," he admits. "It was Bravo who said, 'Look. Let's try to make it iconic. Let's try to -- this is what's happening now in the world,' so I am so glad that -- it was Bravo that was really pushing to make it happen, and it did. I think it was really funny. I think that mute button was really funny."
"I was surprised [at] just how entertaining it was," he adds. "That reunion is really just of this moment that we're all in right now. I mean it was -- it is just very much of this moment. I'm very proud of it and excited that we did it."
RHONY is in the middle of its 12th season, providing much-needed laughs each week, but not a whole lot of story, at least not yet. The main drama, so far, is the pretty confusing fallout between Dorinda Medley and Tinsley Mortimer. Dorinda seems to unfairly go after Tinsley for simply living her life, earning her a "villain" label this season.
"I think she was not in a great place this season," Andy says of Dorinda, "and you see that and she's dealing, she's got a lot of anger that doesn't necessarily -- I think, on the show, it looks like she's just so mad at Tinsley, but when you take a more global view of what's going on in her life, I think you'll see that she's got more going on that she's upset about that you're not hearing about."
Dorinda was dealing with a major renovation of her home in the Berkshires after it flooded, a breakup from her longtime boyfriend, John Mahdessian, and more. Andy says fans need to just keep watching The Real Housewives of New York City to see where things end up with Dorinda and the other women.
The lack of through line drama has some viewers questioning if RHONY is due for a big cast shake-up, like it underwent in season 5, when more than half the cast exited. Dorinda, Sonja Morgan, Ramona Singer and Luann de Lesseps are some of the longest-tenured Housewives in all the franchise, but Andy says it’s way too early to know if drastic change is needed.
"First of all, I think that we're really celebrating Leah [McSweeney] joining the show, 'cause she's done an incredible job as a first-season Housewife, just getting in there and she's really integrated really well," he notes. "She didn't really know any of the women before we started, so it's great. And also, you know, we lost an MVP this season with Bethenny [Frankel] leaving the show. So, listen, it always takes a minute to kind of regroup and find your footing, but they certainly hit the ground running this season and there's a lot more to come for them. And they are a group that really does see each other throughout the year. This is not a 'show friendship.' They're really in each other's lives."
The Real Housewives of Potomac, Orange County, Dallas, New Jersey and Salt Lake City
The near-worldwide shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic has changed how reality TV is being made and rolled out. The Real Housewives of Potomac's fourth season, originally slated to launch in May, has been pushed back to summer in order to give the post-production team enough time to get the episodes in order, and ensure that there's new Bravo programming on air for longer. While the women film the action of the episodes before anything makes it to air, their confessional interviews, which are intercut with the scenes, are shot on a rolling basis. A lot of those testimonials are filmed while the season is airing. The RHOBH cast is currently self-shooting their remaining interviews.
"Dallas was just about to shoot, Jersey had just started shooting, so there's obviously been a pause," Andy says of the state of the other cities. "O.C. was kinda in the middle of their season almost, so there's been a pause. They've been shooting some stuff themselves, [and] we're anxious to start getting them all back together, obviously, but we have to wait and respectfully watch and see when it's safe enough to do it."
While fans probably won't want to relive the pandemic when RHOC's 15th season hits the airwaves, Andy says the network has no plans to scrap what was filmed before quarantine.
"We have great stuff shot, so I wouldn't want to lose anything that we shot," he says. "What we shot are the building blocks of where the next season will go, so I definitely, I don't think we wanna lose anything."
There is one more fully shot season in the can, though: The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City's freshman run. While there's still post-production to be done, Andy said to "watch this space," implying that the Utah-based expansion will hit TV screens sooner rather than later.
Andy is offering up even more Housewives fun with a virtual, live comedic reading of a recent episode of The Real Housewives of New York City, "Ain't No Party Like a Hamptons Party," as part of his SiriusXM channel’s Radio Andy Theater. Cheri Oteri, Amy Phillips, Michael Rapaport, Kristen Johnston, Rachael Harris, Phoebe Robinson, Emily Spivey and John Hill will embody the women of RHONY on Zoom, with Andy narrating the whole thing.
"We just reach out to people who we know are fans," Andy shares of casting the SiriusXM readings. "Sometimes it's friends and sometimes it's just us reaching out saying, do you wanna do this? Also I think people are bored right now, so it's a good activity."
As for how they pick the episode they'll turn into a play, Andy says it's key that all the Housewives be under one roof.
"That usually seems to work really well, so if they're all in the Berkshires or on a trip somewhere, those episodes are really good," he notes, "and here we are at Ramona [Singer's] house in the Hamptons and all hell breaks loose, so seemed like a perfect way to go."