Many "Real Housewives of New York City" viewers were disappointed that former cast member Jill Zarin will not be returning next month for the show's fifth season. But Zarin said she was told by Bravo that it was the show's fans who requested the shakeup.
“Bravo said it was fans who wanted a cast change," she said. "It is up to all of you to tell Bravo what you want for next season. If ratings go down, they might consider bringing back some of the original cast.”
Sources at Bravo told me that it's highly unlikely the network would bring back cast members who were axed after Season 4, namely Zarin, Alex McCord, Kelly Bensimon and Cindy Barshop.
"The new season of 'Real Housewives of New York City,' which kicks off June 4, is going to be amazing and everyone is going to just love the new ladies," said a Bravo representative, referring to new additions Aviva Drescher, Carole Radziwill and Heather Thomson.
“First of all, the new season is going to be huge," another source at the network told me. "Our audience is going to love the new ladies. It is, without doubt, the best season we have ever seen. We are expecting huge ratings and, even if ratings drop, which they won’t, there is zero chance to bringing back any of the old cast members.”
Simon Van Kempen, the husband of former cast member McCord, who was fired at the same time as Zarin, agreed with what Bravo insiders told me. He doesn’t expect his wife, Zarin or even himself to be invited back.
“[It's] not going to happen, irrespective of the ratings,” Van Kempen said. “Once you leave a party, or a partner for that matter, there really is no going back. While we didn’t leave by choice, the only thing we miss is the [reported] $300,000 paycheck. Being on a reality show is a little bit like being on a football team, but on Bravo TV, Andy Cohen gets to play as the quarterback and most often his editing plays are to the detriment of the rest of the team.”
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