Will NYC 'Housewives' Be as Good Without Bethenny?
By Rob Shuter Posted Dec 16th 2010 02:37PM
As the cast of the 'Real Housewives of New York City' busies themselves with shooting the next season of the reality hit, Bravo insiders wonder if the show will still be ratings gold without its breakout star, Bethenny Frankel.
"Bethenny is the biggest star the franchise has ever produced," a Bravo insider tells me. "She not only connected with the most fans, but she also allowed the audience to laugh at how ridiculous the other ladies are. Without Bethenny making fun of the cast, the show just won't be as much fun."
For Bravo, a main concern is who will play foil to rival Kelly Bensimon and her oft-erratic (but always entertaining) behavior on a Bethenny-less 'Housewives.'
"Without Bethenny on the show, Kelly's strange behavior is no longer funny, it's just annoying," my source concedes.
Insiders tell me that after Bravo caught a glimpse of how the new season is going, they have asked Bethenny to return for more than the six appearances she is contractually obligated to make. But she wants to phase that part of her life out.
"Bethenny is done with that show," a friend of the new mom and wife (to Jason Hoppy) tells me. "She is focused on her own show, writing her books and being the best mom and wife she can be. Every time she thinks about going back into that toxic environment it makes her feel physically sick."
I'm told Bethenny loves Bravo and is very appreciative at how the network changed her life (and made her rich), and that she will probably agree to make more guest appearances on 'Housewives.'
"But in her heart she wishes she could just move on," a friend tells me. "To tell the truth, she doesn't even want to watch the new season let alone be forced to be part of it."
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