12:52pm PT by Kate Stanhope
Bravo Plots 'Real Housewives' Franchise Expansion for 2016
Bravo's Real Housewives franchise is moving to two new cities.
The NBCUniversal-owned cable network announced Wednesday that two new editions, set in Dallas and Potomac, Md., will debut in 2016.
The Real Housewives of Potomac will center on a handful of African American families with old money who have broken racial barriers to provide the best lives possible for their families in this upscale community known for its rolling hills and gated mansions. Gizelle Bryant, Katie Rost, Karen Huger, Charrisse Jackson-Jordan, Robyn Dixon and Ashley Darby will star in the series, which premieres Jan. 17 on Bravo.
The unscripted series, which hails from True Entertainment, is executive produced by Steven Weinstock, Glenda Hersh, Lauren Eskelin, Lorraine Haughton-Lawson, Bianca Barnes-Williams, Ashley McFarlin Buie and Andy Cohen, with Anne Swan serving as a co-EP.
Cohen, an EP on all the Real Housewives iterations and host of the franchise's famed reunion specials, will also exec produce The Real Housewives of Dallas along with Rich Bye and Andrew Hoegl. Samantha Billett, John Paparazzo and Adam Karpel will co-exec produce the series, which is produced by Goodbye Pictures. No cast members have been announced for The Real Housewives of Dallas.
This is Bravo's third trip to the Texas city, following Most Eligible Dallas and Courtney Loves Dallas. Likewise, the expansion to Maryland comes more than five years after the one-and-done Real Housewives of D.C., which featured famed White House gate-crashers Michaele and Tareq Salahi.
That edition of the franchise was the only one not to return for a second season. In addition to the show that started it all, The Real Housewives of Orange County, there are also installments in New York City, Atlanta, New Jersey, Beverly Hills and international destinations Melbourne and Cheshire. The Real Housewives of Miami ran for three seasons.
The franchise has become a major calling card for Bravo, with the first three editions all hitting 100 episodes. The Real Housewives of Orange County just wrapped its tenth, and most-watched, season with an average of 2.7 million viewers.
"The Real Housewives has become a global phenomenon that drives cultural conversation while consistently breaking ratings records," said Shari Levine, Bravo Media's executive vp current production. "We're happy to extend the franchise with Potomac and Dallas, giving Bravo fans more of what they desire: stories of dynamic women who make us laugh, cry, cheer and experience unforgettable moments we can’t stop talking about."
Added Cohen: "The Real Housewives of Potomac is the show you never saw coming, and it’s going to take everyone by surprise! As for The Real Housewives of Dallas, it's a natural extension of the franchise with a Southern twist that 'ya'll' will enjoy."