The Real Housewives of New York City

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The Real Housewives of New York City
Genre Reality
Directed by Matt Elkind
  • Current Housewives
  • Ramona Singer
    (Season 1–present)
  • Sonja Morgan
    (Season 3–present)
  • Aviva Drescher
    (Season 5–present)
  • Carole Radziwill
    (Season 5–present)
  • Heather Thomson
    (Season 5–present)
  • Kristen Taekman
    (Season 6-present)
  • Former Housewives
  • Bethenny Frankel
    (Seasons 1–3)
  • Jill Zarin
    (Seasons 1–4)
  • Alex McCord
    (Seasons 1–4)
  • Kelly Killoren Bensimon
    (Seasons 2–4)
  • Cindy Barshop
    (Season 4)
  • LuAnn de Lesseps
    (Seasons 1–5)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 88 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Pam Healey
  • Lisa Shannon
  • Megan Estrada
Camera setup Multiple
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Shed Media US
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Original channel Bravo
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original run March 4, 2008 (2008-03-04) – present
Preceded by The Real Housewives of Orange County
Followed by The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Related shows Bethenny Ever After
External links

The Real Housewives of New York City is an American reality television series that premiered March 4, 2008, on Bravo. New York is the second city featured in The Real Housewives franchise.


While in pre-production, the show was initially titled Manhattan Moms.[1] The first season premiered on March 4, 2008, and starred Bethenny Frankel, LuAnn de Lesseps, Alex McCord, Ramona Singer and Jill Zarin.[2] Despite the series title, the women featured were not all housewives. Frankel and Singer owned their own businesses, McCord and Zarin had jobs outside their home. Kelly Killoren Bensimon was added to the cast for the second season, which premiered on February 17, 2009.[3] On August 31, 2010, Frankel made an official announcement that she would not be returning to The Real Housewives of New York City series for its fourth season.[4] In September 2010, the fourth season began filming with Cindy Barshop as the series' newest housewife. Bravo pushed the Season 4 premiere back until April 7, 2011, and instead premiered The Real Housewives of Miami.[5]

Bravo announced in April 2012 that the show would be revamped for its fifth season and effectively fired half of its cast, letting go four of its seven housewives: Barshop, Bensimon, McCord, and Zarin. The fifth season premiered on June 4, 2012, with new cast members Aviva Drescher, Carole Radziwill, and Heather Thomson, leaving Singer and De Lesseps as the only original cast members from the first season, along with Sonja Morgan, who joined the show in its third season.[6][7]

The series was officially renewed for a sixth season on April 2, 2013.[8] Production was set to begin on May 8, 2013, but the housewives had instead gone into negotiations with Bravo regarding their salaries for the season.[9] Sonja Morgan, Carole Radziwill, Heather Thomson and Ramona Singer rejoined the series on May 9, 2013, with Aviva Drescher signing her contract on May 24, 2013.[10][11] LuAnn agreed to the new contract on May 28, 2013.[12][13] It had been speculated that Kristen Taekman would join the cast, which was later confirmed by LuAnn in an interview with Wetpaint.[14][15] It was announced in January 2014 that The Real Housewives of New York City would return for its sixth season on March 11, 2014.[16] Aviva Drescher, Sonja Morgan, Carole Radziwill, Ramona Singer, Heather Thomson, and new housewife Kristen Taekman are the main housewives with LuAnn de Lesseps returning in a recurring role.[16]

Current Housewives[edit]

Heather Thomson, Sonja Morgan, Ramona Singer, Kristen Taekman, Carole Radziwill and Aviva Drescher (from left)

Ramona Singer[edit]

(Season 1 – present)

Ramona Singer (born November 18, 1956 in Rhinebeck, New York)[17] to Bohdan and Veronika Mazur (née Tersansky) of Polish descent[18] She resides in Manhattan with her daughter, Avery. After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Singer began her career a buyer for Macy's and then moved into the wholesale clothing business with French Connection and Calvin Klein. She is the owner of RMS Fashions, a company that purchases excess goods from clothing manufacturers and resells them to discount stores. (In the apparel industry, Ramona is known as a jobber – a middleman to whom manufacturers sell their surplus fabric.)

Singer has developed several additional businesses. One is her own line of jewelry, True Faith Jewelry, which is sold through the Home Shopping Network and she markets the line herself.[19] She also developed and launched a skin care line, Tru Renewal,[20] in 2009.[21] Singer also has a line of wine, named Pinot grigio.[22]

Singer is the only cast member to hold the "main housewife" title through all six seasons.

Marital Status: Separated[23]

Sonja Morgan[edit]

(Season 3 – present)

Sonja Morgan (born in Albany, New York, as Sonja Tremont)[24] is the ex-wife of John Morgan. John, 33 years her senior, is one of five children of Henry S. Morgan (a great-grandson of J. Pierpont Morgan) and Catherine Adams (a great-great-granddaughter of John Adams, the second President of the United States).[25] According to the New York Post, Morgan agreed to finance a motion picture in 2006 but backed out at the last minute because she had just been served with divorce papers.[26] As a result, a federal jury in California awarded the production company $7.06 million in damages in September 2009.[27]

Marital Status: In a Relationship

Aviva Drescher[edit]

(Season 5 – present)

Aviva Drescher is the only New York City born and bred housewife in the history of the show.[28] When Aviva was six years old, she was in a farm accident which resulted in the amputation of her left leg.[29] She attended Fieldston School, completed a B.A. at Vassar College, a master's degree in French at New York University, and a law degree at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.[28] Instead of practicing law, however, she devotes her time to her investment banker husband Reid Drescher and raising their four children on the Upper East Side.[29] Drescher works as the National Spokesperson for One Step Ahead, an organization for amputees, an advisory board member of Cancer Schmancer and works with the Live4Life Foundation.[28] Drescher's memoire, Leggy Blonde, will be released on February 25, 2014, and her all anti-anxiety supplement, Vivacalm, will be released March 2014.[28] She's a cousin by marriage of actress Fran Drescher.[30] Aviva and Fran filmed a scene together for the fifth season but the footage was never aired.[31]

Marital Status: Married

Carole Radziwill[edit]

(Season 5 – present)

Best-selling author and journalist Carole Radziwill (née DiFalco) grew up in suburban Rockland County, New York 30 miles north of Manhattan. She attended school at Hunter College and New York University, where she earned BA and MBA degrees, respectively. She enjoyed a long, award-winning career in journalism at ABC News with Peter Jennings’ documentary unit and at PrimeTime Live and 20/20, which garnered her three EMMYs®, a Robert F. Kennedy Humanitarian award, and a GLADD Award. Carole left ABC News in 2003 to write her first book, titled What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship and Love,[32] a moving account of her life, her marriage to fellow ABC News Producer Anthony Radziwill, and their heartbreaking battle with cancer. It spent over 12 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List, and was nominated for the Books for a Better Life Award. Carole is a frequent contributor to Glamour magazine. She resides in the West Village with Margaret, her dog.

Marital Status: Widowed

Heather Thomson[edit]

(Season 5 – present)

A businesswoman, Heather Thomson is the creator of Yummie Tummie shapewear. She is a married mother of two – Jax and Ella Rae. The idea for Yummie by Heather Thomson was born shortly after she had her children and was disappointed by existing shapewear.[33] In addition to her professional work, Heather supports several charitable initiatives, including Kellner Family Pediatric Liver Disease Foundation and City of Hope.[34]

Marital Status: Married

Kristen Taekman[edit]

(Season 6 – present)

Kristin Taekman is the wife to Josh Taekman, co-founder to the natural energy supplement EBOOST.[16] Taekman has been a runway model since the age of 14.[16] Taekman owns a greeting card company, 2nd Street Press.[16] She resides in Tribeca with her husband, with their son Cash and daughter Kingsley.[16] Taekman was recommended to the series by The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member Brandi Glanville. Taekman and Glanville are friends outside the series.[35]

Marital Status: Married

Former Housewives[edit]

Bethenny Frankel[edit]

(Seasons 1 – 3)

Bethenny Frankel (born November 4, 1970), is an author, entrepreneur, and natural foods chef. At the beginning of the series, she was not married, despite the series' title. She eventually married Jason Hoppy on March 28, 2010. Then on May 8, the couple gave birth to their first child, a girl named Bryn.[36] Her marriage and motherhood were documented on her own spin-off reality show, Bethenny Getting Married? which was later changed to Bethenny Ever After.[37] She and Hoppy would later file for divorce. In August 2010, Frankel announced that for personal reasons she would not be returning to the show's fourth season.[38]

Marital Status: Divorced

Jill Zarin[edit]

(Seasons 1 – 4)

Jill Zarin, (born in Woodmere, New York), is married to Bobby Zarin,[39] owner of Zarin Fabric Warehouse and Home Furnishings, a home furnishing and fabric store on the Lower East Side, which has been featured on the show. Jill does marketing for the store. She has a daughter Allyson from a previous marriage. Zarin attended Simmons College, began her career as men's buyer at Filene's, and went on to become the national sales manager of Jockey.[40] In 2010, Zarin published the advice book Secrets of a Jewish Mother, co-authored by her sister Lisa Wexler and mother Gloria Kamen. The "Jill Zarin Home" bedding line was released in late 2010.[40] Zarin has launched her own shapewear and hosiery line, "Skweez Couture by Jill Zarin", available at major department stores and has appeared on Home Shopping Network. "Jill Zarin Jewelry" launched in mid-2012.[40]

Zarin has appeared on The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet, Chelsea Lately, The Doctors, Iron Chef America, The Nate Berkus Show, The Wendy Williams Show, White Collar, and The View.[41]

Marital Status: Married

Alex McCord[edit]

(Seasons 1 – 4)

Alex McCord, (born October 1, 1973, in Washington, D.C.)[42] was raised in Kansas, Texas, and the United States Virgin Islands. McCord graduated from Fort Scott High School (located in Fort Scott, Kansas) in 1991 and later attended Northwestern University where she studied theatre.[43] McCord was a graphic designer for over nine years[44] and was a voice actress as Birdy of Birdy the Mighty. McCord is married to Simon Van Kempen, who worked in the hotel industry in New York City[45] throughout the first three seasons, but has since left to start his own social media business within the hotel sector.[46] McCord and van Kempen reside in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.[47] They have two boys together, Francois and Johan, who were named for Simon's late father, Francois Johan Walter van Kempen.[48] In March 2009, she was laid off from her job in visual merchandising[49] for Limited Brands/Victoria’s Secret.

In September 2011, Bravo announced that McCord would not be returning for Season 5.[50][51]

Marital Status: Married

Kelly Killoren-Bensimon[edit]

(Seasons 2 – 4)

Kelly Killoren-Bensimon (born May 1, 1968, in Rockford, Illinois)[52] is a former model, equestrian, jewelry designer, and magazine editor. She is the author of three books published by Assouline: In the Spirit of the Hamptons (2002),[53] American Style (2004),[54] and The Bikini Book (2006).[55] She also has a jewelry line. In September 2011, Bravo announced that Killoren-Bensimon would not be returning for Season 5.[50][51]

In September 2013, Kelly revealed that she would be returning to The Real Housewives of New York City in a limited role. She confirmed that she had filmed scenes with LuAnn, Carole, and Heather.[56]

Marital Status: Divorced

Cindy Barshop[edit]

(Season 4)

Cindy Barshop is the owner of Completely Bare, a chain of hair-removal spas.[57] Barshop was working in telecommunications for IBM when she uncovered Epilight, a machine that uses light to permanently remove hair, and decided to open her first spa in New York City in 1998.[57] Barshop has twin girls, Jessie and Zoe.[57]

It was announced in September 2011 that Barshop would not be returning for the fifth season.[51][58]

Marital Status: Single

LuAnn de Lesseps[edit]

(Season 1 – present) (Seasons 1 – 5: Main, Season 6: Recurring)

LuAnn de Lesseps, née Nadeau, otherwise known as Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, (born May 17, 1965 in Berlin, Connecticut), was born to a concrete manufacturer.[59] She modeled with Wilhelmina Models[60] and is an LPN. She is of Algonquin and French descent.[61] and was the fourth wife of Count Alexandre de Lesseps, a descendant of Ferdinand de Lesseps, the developer of the Suez Canal. They have two children, Victoria and Noel, who have appeared on the show. De Lesseps and her husband divorced in 2009.[62] De Lesseps authored an etiquette book published in 2009 titled Class with the Countess. In April 2010, she released a music single titled "Money Can't Buy You Class", through Ultra Records.[63] She released her second single, "Chic, C'est La Vie", in June 2011.[64]

Lesseps has a recurring role in the sixth season.[65]

Marital Status: Divorced

Housewives History[edit]

Housewives Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6
Ramona Singer Main
Sonja Morgan Main
Aviva Drescher Main
Carole Radziwill Main
Heather Thomson Main
Kristen Taekman Main
LuAnn de Lesseps Main Recurring
Bethenny Frankel Main
Alex McCord Main
Jill Zarin Main
Kelly Bensimon Main
Cindy Barshop Main
Jennifer Gilbert Recurring


Season Episodes Season premiere Season finale Reunion DVD Release Date
1 9 March 4, 2008 April 15, 2008 April 22, 2008 April 13, 2010
2 15 February 17, 2009 May 5, 2009 May 12, 2009
May 14, 2009
3 18 March 4, 2010 June 3, 2010 June 10, 2010
June 14, 2010
June 17, 2010
April 13, 2011
4 18 April 7, 2011 July 21, 2011 July 25, 2011
August 1, 2011
December 6, 2011
5 21 June 4, 2012 October 1, 2012 October 8, 2012
October 15, 2012
6 TBA March 11, 2014[66] TBA TBA TBA

Facebook game[edit]

In July 2012, Bravo released a social networking video game version of The Real Housewives of New York City titled Real Housewives: The Game. Every week after a new episode, a new story was available on the game.[67][68] It has since been discontinued.


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External links[edit]