Bravo recruits new NYC 'Housewives'

Series renewed amid reports of salary dispute

Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New York City" has been picked up for a third season but might feature a new group of Manhattan socialites.

Announcing that the reality series will return in 2010, Bravo said it is "casting for additional housewives" amid reports about a salary dispute between the cable network and the six cast members: Alex McCord, Bethenny Frankel, Jill Zarin, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, LuAnn de Lesseps and Ramona Singer.

A source said negotiations between the stars and Bravo are ongoing. Production on the third season of the Shed Media U.S.-produced show is slated to begin in the fall.

The second season of "NYC," which chronicles the lives of a group of ambitious women as they juggle careers, motherhood and social calendars, was up double digits in the ratings. It averaged 1.44 million adults 18-49 and 1.95 million total viewers, with both the season finale and reunion special drawing more than 2 million viewers.

Although that's in line with the performance of the original series in the "Real Housewives" franchise, the Orange County version, it is well below the 3.5 million viewers that the New Jersey edition recently drew for its season finale. A second-season renewal for that series is pending.
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