The Bravo hit will return after experiencing an extended hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and major cast shakeups

Following speculation regarding the future of Vanderpump Rules, PEOPLE confirms that the Bravo reality series is officially returning for season 9.

"Vanderpump Rules will resume production with a comprehensive health and safety plan. The plan was developed in accordance with CDC guidance, all state and local orders, as well as NBCUniversal's own safety guidelines," says a Bravo spokesperson.

"The health and safety of the cast and crew is the priority of Bravo for all of its shows," adds the network rep.

Production on the show is set to kick off in May. Variety first reported the news.

Vanderpump Rules, which premiered on Bravo in 2013, follows the drama-filled lives of the staffers employed at Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum Lisa Vanderpump's SUR restaurant. The long-running series experienced major hiccups after season 8 wrapped in June 2020, however. 

That month, PEOPLE confirmed that OG cast members Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute were fired from the show alongside newcomers Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni for past racially insensitive behavior. 

Vanderpump Rules - Season 7
Credit: Tommy Garcia/Bravo

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VPR veteran Jax Taylor and wife Brittany Cartwright later announced their departure from the series via Instagram in December 2020. "We are excited to take this time to focus on our growing family and share with you our new endeavors," Taylor, who also faced backlash amid allegations regarding his past actions, captioned his post. "@bravotv, @evolutionusa and our Vanderpump castmates will always remain close to our hearts. Thank you to all the fans who have shared our journey with us and supported us through everything. We love you."

Dayna Kathan, who joined in season 8, announced via Instagram earlier this month that she will not be back as well. She wrote while replying to a fan's question on the matter, "I'm not returning but excited to see next szn! The pod will be back soon, you're amazing, thank you!!!"

Lisa Vanderpump
Credit: Evans Vestal Ward/Getty Images

Drama aside, Taylor, 41, and Cartwright, 32, welcomed their first child together, son Cruz, on April 12. PEOPLE exclusively revealed in January that Schroeder, 32, gave birth to her daughter Hartford with husband Beau Clark, while Lala Kent welcomed her first child with fiancé Randall Emmett in March. Scheana Shay and her boyfriend Brock Davies additionally became first-time parents on Tuesday. 

Before VPR's ninth season was officially confirmed on Tuesday, Vanderpump gave an update last month about what's to come.

"Everyone asks me ... Listen, we're heading towards the right direction," Vanderpump, whose SUR restaurant reopened in February, said on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. "But I think Bravo's got to announce when they're ready to do that again," the former RHOBH star added. "It's a story that keeps playing out. But yeah, we're getting there."