Karen and Rayvin Huger on Bringing 'Succession' to Bravo With 'RHOP: Karen's Grande Dame Reunion' (Exclusive)

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The Grande Dame of Potomac is bringing it back to Surry County. Well, Surry County adjacent.

Karen Huger brings together her family for a one-of-a-kind reunion in Henrico, Virginia, a town (or two) over from where she grew up -- and Bravo cameras are there to capture it all for The Real Housewives of Potomac's first-ever spinoff, Karen's Grande Dame Reunion.

"It was just a natural progression," Karen explains of filming the offshoot, speaking to ET over video chat alongside her daughter, Rayvin Huger. "Fans wanted to know more about my family, and in order to do that I had to tap into my extended family, and that's how this came about. We were talking about a family reunion, and of course because I'm on the platform with Bravo as a Housewife, they were going to follow that natural progression, that natural storyline. And hence, we've got Karen's Grande Dame Reunion. Hello!"

"This special just whets Bravo's appetite, and that's what you want to do," she goes on to tease. "It's a special. It's two parts, just enough for you to get hungry enough to ask the question, what is next? And I can tell you, my phone with this younger generation has been ringing off the hook since I've filmed this, and they are moving forward with, what's next? And it's so exciting. So we'll cross that bridge when we get there, but it wouldn't surprise me [if we did more with my family]. Not none whatsoever. These kids are ready."

Karen's family has appeared on RHOP since it launched in 2016, but this is the first time they're really part of the story. Rayvin says everyone was ready for it.

"Honestly, all of us were on board," she reveals. "It was crazy how all of us at the same time were like, you know what? Let's do it. Why wouldn't we?"

"They're so powerfully intelligent and funny and camera ready," Karen says of the extended Huger-Wooden crew. "I'm like, who are you?"

That crew includes Karen's Aunt Val, a pistol of a woman... who also packs a pistol from time to time. "We had to oil her up a little bit, but yeah, she was ready," Rayvin quips. "She was OK."

Karen Huger films her The Real Housewives of Potomac spinoff with her Aunt Val
Shannon Finney / Bravo

Rayvin describes Val as "the Grande Dame of Surry County," Karen's counterpart when it comes to playing matriarch to this bunch. She gives Karen's RHOP castmates a run for their money when it comes to on-camera face-offs, too.

"It's easier to film with Gizelle [Bryant]!" Karen confesses, name-checking her longtime RHOP frenemy. "Val, oh my god. You saw Val. She's pistol-packing Val."

All in all, though, Karen found filming Grande Dame Reunion easier than a season of Housewives.

"Family is blood," she professes. "We can love each other. We fight, we disagree, but we always have blood with us, just forgiving each other and working it out. RHOP, they're my friends. I can put them in timeout for as long as I want, hello! As long as necessary. Not family, though. Family's going to be back at your doorstep in five minutes and say, 'Let's work this out,' and that is what we do, and we do it well."

While the family reunion is front and center on the spinoff special, there's also an underlying theme of succession, as Karen's nieces and nephews come to her for advice (and pleas to do some heavy lifting with Val) on how to handle the future of their family business, Wooden Farm. The show even knocks off the style of HBO's hit, Succession, incorporating sound-alike theme music and look-alike editing for the more serious moments.

"That was a surprise, but it's a great surprise because it fits like a glove," Karen quips of the editing choices. "It is Grande Dame Family Reunion. You know what I'm saying? And Succession together, so it was a brain genius moment, you know?"

Grande Dame Reunion goes a bit deeper than Succession can with the Roy family, though, because there's a deep history with the Woodens in Virginia. Family secrets came to light while filming the series, educating even Karen and Rayvin a bit.

"There's moments that are certainly disheartening and an ugly part of history to look at, but nonetheless needed to be viewed and needed to be seen and discussed," Rayvin notes. "So it was really important for me, because knowing who I am now and where I come from, I'm all the more powerful in my moving forward and so grateful that I had the opportunity."

Karen Huger poses with her extended family on her The Real Housewives of Potomac spinoff
Shannon Finney / Bravo

"I thought this was brilliantly done, with episode 1 being an introduction of each personality, and episode 2, kicking it at home and having fun and just showing you the shenanigans we go through as this family, but also giving a powerful message at a very important time in this country, sharing this conversation about Black history, when we're often encouraged not to talk about it right now," Karen reflects. "The timing could not have been more perfect, and my family and I are honored to share our struggle about how we got here. And I thank Bravo for being that platform that allowed me to shine the light on Black history in my family. It's a powerful story."

As for how Karen's fellow Housewives feel about her being the first of the DMV crew to secure her own show, she's focusing on the positive.

"I only pay attention to positivity. That's how I continue to do as well as I do," she notes. "So I can say I've got huge support from Mia [Thornton]. Wendy [Osefo] has supported me, and that's what I focus on. And actually, Ashley [Darby], absolutely super proud of me. And that means a lot to me. But those who don't have anything to say, I think that's best kept to themselves, because it's not necessary because it's not going to stop the Karen Huger train. So I think they all really are proud of me though, because let's talk about this. When I do well, RHOP will do well. So when I open a door, perhaps another one of my colleagues can walk through that door. So, you're welcome!"

The ladies of RHOP are back to filming (though Bravo has yet to confirm as much), with superfans keeping tabs on their social media. "The blogs" were quick to realize Candiace Dillard Bassett unfollowed Gizelle after an all-cast event, the same event which inspired Karen to tweet, "The best way to get a READ on where you truly stand with your gal pals is to host a party with bubbly and a 🎤! Baby, believe….. you will walk out with such clarity on what and who you are TRULY working with. When people show you who they are, believe them and carry on!"

"I'll just say, I am a student of my daily life, and I like to tweet occasionally those things that I think will be helpful to others," Karen explains of the sort-of cryptic message. "And that particular day, which I can't say much about, I learned a lot by throwing a party."

"You have to stay tuned," she adds. "We're all teachers in our own way. I'll say that. But I'm the best."

Karen and co. left things on uneven ground after the season 6 reunion, which taped last fall. However, the Grande Dame says she's "always optimistic" about the group's future.

"Until you do me wrong, I'm good with you," she remarks. "I actually feel very hopeful about moving forward, so we'll see. You've got to stay tuned... I know you want to know, don't you? I want to tell you so bad!"

Word on the street is that the entire season 6 ensemble -- Karen, Gizelle, Candiace, Wendy, Ashley, Mia and Robyn Dixon -- is back for season 7, but that doesn't mean viewers won't also see some new faces in the mix. Or, old faces with new faces. 

"You might see some lifted faces, some injected faces," she cracks. "Nothing's wrong with that! I love a good tweak. I'm all for that. But yeah, hopefully you'll see all those things."

The cast of The Real Housewives of Potomac attend their season 6 reunion taping.
Bravo

Before then, though, there are two episodes of The Real Housewives of Potomac: Karen's Grande Dame Reunion to watch. 

"We just had such a good time, and you can see [it]," Rayvin reflects. "We're always poking fun, each other's having something to say, and it is just a wild time when we're in all in the same room. And in the same house together?!"

Sometimes, though, those close quarters proved too close for comfort, like when Karen and Rayvin's dad, Ray Huger, strutted downstairs and announced to the entire family that they'd spent the night "knocking boots."

"I've lived 24 years... I could have lived 24 more without knowing that, but of course they're open books," Rayvin ekes out.

"You've got to do things for a shock factor when you have the younger generation around you, and they're all calling you old, 'old people,'" Karen chimes in. "So of course I'm going to share every morsel of my life with them to let them know, no, age is not a determining factor, honey. And they all gag, so hello. Wise wins."

The Real Housewives of Potomac: Karen's Grande Dame Reunion premieres Sunday, April 17, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.

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