Why Andy Cohen Initially Didn't Want Bethenny Frankel or Lisa Rinna on 'Real Housewives'
By Stacy Lambe
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When it comes to producing Bravo's The Real Housewives, Andy Cohen has his eyes on the prize. In this case, that means casting the
women who will mesh well with the other cast members but who also fit into the Housewives paradigm.
So when it came to popular cast members, Bethenny Frankel,
Kim Zolciak, and newcomer Lisa Rinna, Cohen admits he wasn’t so sure.
"I was initially wrong about [Frankel],"
he reveals in an upcoming Watch What
Happens Live special airing on May 26. "Because I, initially, when I
saw the first casting of New York, was reticent about [her] because [she] had
been on TheApprentice. And I thought that that was weird at the time. Isn't
Frankel, who was part of the original New York City cast, left after three seasons only to return for the
show’s seventh season. Cohen now admits that Frankel was “born to be a Housewife.”
When it came to Atlanta,
which started the same year as NYC, Cohen
says he was hesitant over Zolciak because she was “this white woman.” “I just
didn’t get it,” the 46-year-old producer says.
Needless to say, she became one of the most popular and
polarizing cast members, eventually leaving Housewives halfway through season
five. (Zolciak stars in her own spin-off, Don’t
Be Tardy, which was renewed for a fourth season.)
The most surprising admission came when the topic turned to
Lisa Rinna, who quickly became the ire of Kim Richards when she joined Beverly
Hills in season five.
“You know Lisa Rinna was on the first casting tape for Beverly Hills,” Cohen says. "In the
first season of Beverly Hills, I
thought 'I don't see it. It's weird. It's not what this show is. But then last
year I wanted her on."
And good thing he added her. Rinna and newcomer Eileen
Davidson quickly became fan favorites and we can never imagine traveling to
Amsterdam without them.
Look back on all the drama between from season five, which
found Richards battling with everyone, including her sister Kyle: