The former Real Housewives of New York star joined ET as a guest co-host on Friday at the Baha Mar Resort in the Bahamas, where she dished on not one, but two possible projects, that may see her back the small screen soon.
“We're in like, legal paper stage for two shows that I'm partnering with Mark Burnett on -- one that I would be in, that would focus on me and a lot of the business aspects of myself and the next stage of my life,” shared Frankel, 49, who exited RHONYin June. “And the other one, I'm not in. I'm just producing it.”
“But both of them were my ideas,” she added. “They're my execution, so it's amazing to be able to take the next step in television. And, Mark Burnett is another level -- I've met my match! I've met my match romantically [with boyfriend Paul Bernon], and I've met my match, creatively, business-wise and [in] television with Mark Burnett.”
The new details on Frankel’s return to television come following her recent appearance as a "Guest Shark" on ABC’s Shark Tank. The reality star said her time on the show was “really fun,” but noted how some people underestimated her business acumen because of her on-screen past.
“The network and the production company looked at me like a housewife and like I wouldn't be able to keep up,” she claimed. “They said, ‘You know these are very serious business people?’ and I said, ‘Uhhh, OK. I’ve been on the cover of a small magazine called Forbes. I might be able to hang, too.’”
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“I do think that having been on the Housewives has brought me so many amazing gifts and such an amazing platform, but at the same [time], it's hard to go into an arena like Shark Tank, and be taken seriously as a housewife,” Frankel also said. “I somehow always manage to get back to being the underdog. No matter what I do, I get back to being the underdog and I'm comfortable there. I like being in uncharted territory.”
On a deeper note, uncharted territory is where many locals found themselves when Hurricane Dorian devastated parts of the Bahamas in August. The worst storm to hit the country in recorded history, the affected areas are still in recovery mode and Frankel has worked extensively to help relief efforts, through her organization, BStrong.
“We have raised over $25 million worth of aid, we've evacuated about 900 people. We have seven camps there, where we distribute relief,” she said. “We have a warehouse in Miami that is filled with everything that people need.”
“Everyone thought it hit the entire country of the Bahamas, but it’s important to let people know that it was 100 out of, I think, 800 islands -- not every part of the Bahamas was hit,” Frankel also noted. “It's scary for a tourism-built economy when it's all over the news how bad of a disaster it is [when] most of the Bahamas was not hit.”
As for how she juggles her work in the Bahamas with other commitments -- like being a mom to her nine-year-old daughter, Bryn -- Frankel says balance and having a good team around her are key factors.
“I’m a woman, I’m a philanthropist, I’m a business woman, I’m a mother and I just make them all equally-important,” she shared. “I think you still have to have a balance. If I’m still in the Bahamas on my daughter’s first day of school, I’m not going to be happy and I’m not going to be able to give my all to that cause. And if I’m here, sitting back having a margarita when there are all these terrible things going on in the Bahamas that I can help, then there's no balance.”
“So, I think it’s about being organized -- plan well ahead [and] have a good team around me,” she continued. “My team in Miami is called Global Empowerment Mission. They are the nuts and bolts of the operation.”
In between relief efforts, being a mom and putting together her next television projects, Frankel celebrated her 49th birthday on Monday. So, is she thinking ahead to plans for her milestone 50th?
“I have a slightly younger boyfriend … I might take him for some aging therapy so he can catch up with me,” she joked. “Give him some greys [and] wrinkles. It's only fair!”
Tune into tonight's ET for more with Frankel, and find out how to watch more from ET's Bahamas Week here.