May 09, 2013 3:45pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Real Housewives' Salary Standoff: Bravo Threatens to Cancel 'New York'
Bravo could soon be down one Real Housewives series. The cable network has threatened to cancel The Real Housewives of New York City as early as Friday if all six castmembers have not signed new contracts.
A source close to the negotiations tells The Hollywood Reporter that the reality series stars LuAnn de Lesseps, Sonja Morgan, Ramona Singer, Aviva Drescher, Carole Radziwill and Heather Thomson have refused to sign contracts that will keep them on the show. "What's currently on the table is unacceptable," a source close to the stars says.
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Production on the sixth season was set to begin Wednesday, but none of the six women made herself available for filming. A Bravo representative declined to comment.
The castmembers all negotiate separate deals and are paid different amounts, depending on how long they have been with the show. However, each castmember is said to have expressed displeasure with Bravo's financial offer. Negotiations are said to have begun about three weeks ago but little progress has been made. "We're still pretty far apart," the source says.
The Real Housewives of New York City, the second-oldest in the Bravo franchise, is produced by Ricochet Television. And though the first five seasons saw several cast changes, both de Lesseps and Singer are among the originals. The series notably served as a launch pad for Bethenny Frankel, who left at the end of the third season.
RHONY is a hit for Bravo, though ratings slipped about 20 percent from season four to season five. Beverly Hills and Atlanta remain the top performers in the franchise.
It's not immediately clear if a cancellation would close the door to a future New York iteration of the series with a different cast.