"You might have to make a hard call on Orange County, but there are great people on the show right now and there are great people waiting," Andy Cohen said

By Dave Quinn
December 18, 2019 04:24 PM
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The Real Housewives of Orange County‘s milestone 15th season might bring with some fresh new faces.

During a visit to SiriusXM’s Jeff Lewis Liveon Tuesday, RHOC executive producer Andy Cohen opened up about the possibility of new blood on the original Housewives franchise.

“The casting for next season is some of the best casting we’ve had,” Cohen said, adding that he “[has] not been this excited about casting” in a long time.

RHOC was Bravo’s first Housewives offering, premiering back in 2006 as sort of a reality alternative to ABC’s nighttime soap Desperate Housewives.

The show currently stars Tamra Judge, Shannon Beador, Kelly Dodd, Gina Kirschenheiter, Emily Simpson and newcomer Braunwyn Windham-Burke as full-time Housewives.

There’s also Vicki Gunvalson, who was one of the original Housewives when RHOC premiered back in 2006 and is often referred to as “the O.G. of the O.C.” She was moved to a “Friend of” role during season 14, after 13 previous seasons on the show — but hasn’t been shy about her desire to be returned to a full-time status.

Tamra Judge, Gina Kirschenheiter, Shannon Beador, Andy Cohen, Braunwyn Windham-Burke, Emily Simpson and Kelly Dodd
| Credit: Nicole Weingart/Bravo

Asked by Lewis who might be going, Cohen wouldn’t say, but he did stress that he thought Windham-Burke was “a great” addition.

“She’s got a lot going on,” Cohen said, nothing Windham-Burke’s seven children, her eccentric mother, and her and her husband’s sex-pad. “You’ve got Dr. Deb, you’ve got the kids, you’ve got the other apartment …”

Regardless of what happens, Cohen said he’s sure that fans will be happy.

“No matter how it shakes out, it’s going to be great because we have great casting. It’s hard to make moves when you don’t have a bench, both on the show and casting wise,” Cohen said.

He then noting the recent high-profile departures of Bethenny Frankel (from The Real Housewives of New York City) and Lisa Vanderpump (from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills).

“What I mean is, it’s like Bethenny leaving, it’s like Vanderpump leaving — there’s already a great bench of superstars,” Cohen said. “So ultimately, you’re upset that those people are leaving, you might have to make a hard call on Orange County, but there are great people on the show right now and there are great people waiting. You have to figure it out.”

Andy Cohen
| Credit: Nicole Weingart/Bravo

Cohen also opened up about his surprise at hearing that the late night show he hosts — Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen — was picked up by Bravo through 2021.

“I was kind of thinking … it’s going to be the end of 2020 and they’re going to be like, ‘All right Andy, we’re done with you,’ ” Cohen said. “As I have told Vicki Gunvalson before, we all cannot rely on television as our careers. They’re going to tell us all [to go].”

So what would he do if WWHL was canceled? Or, god forbid, the Real Housewives franchises were all cut?

“If WWHL ended and the Housewives ended, I would be very happy coming to Radio Andy and doing this and having this be my full career,” Cohen said of his SiriusXM network. “Or if RadioAndy ended, maybe I could just write books or teach journalism or just be a dad.”

Jeff Lewis Live airs weekdays (12 p.m. ET) on SiriusXM’s Radio Andy (Ch. 102).