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'The Real Housewives'--All About the Bravo Shows

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Inspired by the TV drama Desperate Housewives (and the spoiled housewives of executive producer Scott Dunlop's exclusive Coto de Caza neighborhood), Bravo's Real Housewives franchise launched March 21, 2006 with The Real Housewives of Orange County.

The show's unfettered look at the pampered lives of wealthy women quickly made it a hit--as did the cat fighting, back stabbing cast. Recognizing a good thing when they saw it, Bravo's executives parlayed that hit into a franchise that now includes six regional Real Housewives shows (seven if you count Canada's The Real Housewives of Vancouver). Discover more about the franchise--and the women behind it--in About.com's coverage of The Real Housewives.
  1. 'The Real Housewives of Orange County'
  2. 'The Real Housewives of New York City'
  3. 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta'
  1. 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey'
  2. 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'
  3. 'The Real Housewives of Miami'

'The Real Housewives of Orange County'

The Real Housewives of Orange County Season Seven

The Real Housewives of Orange County is the show that launched the franchise and introduced us to the wealthy housewives of Southern California. It started with five housewives who lived and played in the exclusive gated-community of Coto de Caza, filling their work-free days with shopping, pool parties and plastic surgery. But in the past seven seasons we've witnessed the impact of the recession as it altered even the lives of these affluent women. And, although cast members have come and gone, we've become addicted to watching the crazy things they do and say, and how their lives are both out of our reach--and just like ours.

'The Real Housewives of New York City'

The Real Housewives of New York Season Five Cast

The Real Housewives of New York follows the lives of a half dozen wealthy women in New York City. Unlike its predecessor, from the start RHONY has starred cast members who aren't married and who work outside the home--illustrating the evolution of The Real Housewives brand to one focused on women of wealth and privilege regardless of their marital or employment status. With the inclusion of royalty (Countess LuAnn de Lesseps) New York also brings a level of class (and old money) to the The Real Housewives franchise.

'The Real Housewives of Atlanta'

'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' Cast

Although they can exhibit all the charm of any Southern lady, The Real Housewives of Atlanta haven't always been, um, classy (just check out the "10 Most Memorable Moments" below). But the show has given us the first African American Housewives and the guilty pleasures of watching Kim Zolciak sing (badly) and Sheree Whitfield's (dreadful) fashion show. Real Housewives of Atlanta Season Five starts November 4th 2012 9/8PM Central and introduces two new cast members.

'The Real Housewives of New Jersey'

The Real Housewives of New Jersey cast

Most of the Real Housewives of New Jersey are related by blood, or marriage (or both) and that interconnection adds a level of conflict and dysfunction to the show, which has given us name-calling, hair-pulling, lawsuit-filing, Twitter-feed-fighting and no-longer-talking cast mates.

'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season Four Cast Photo

The suicide of estranged Real Housewives of Beverly Hills husband Russell Armstrong led to the re-editing of Season Two and may forever overshadow the show's other dramas including marriage metldowns and the blowup between sisters Kim and Kyle Richards, the fight between Kyle and Camille Grammer, the conflict between Camille and Taylor Armstrong or the altercation between Kim and Brandi Glanville. (Maybe it should be called The Real Housewives Fight Club of Beverly Hills!)Season Three premieres November 5, 2012.

'The Real Housewives of Miami'

The Real Housewives of Miami Cast

The latest series in the franchise, The Real Housewives of Miami features a cast--including a number of Latina Americans--as hot and spicy as the entres in Housewife Ana Quincoces' cookbooks. While the camera follows them attending (and throwing) high society bashes and catches them flirting with each others' men, it's the off-show actions of one Housewife's sons that really captures our attention.

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