Four years ago, Bethenny Frankel appeared to be on top of the reality star world. She had her own spinoff television series called Bethenny Getting Married, she was engaged, she had multiple booming businesses, and eventually she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Bryn. She was building up the most impressive empire out of all the Real Housewives women, but now, she is poised to return to where it all began. According to Us Weekly, Bethenny Frankel is returning to Real Housewives of New York City .
As an avid Bravoholic, I am super excited to see Frankel back on my television screen, and I am curious about how things will go down between her and the other housewives on the upcoming seventh season of RHONY. It's no secret that she has had her fair share of ups and downs during these past four years, both personally and professionally. It's also no secret that Real Housewives of New York City has been struggling in the ratings. With that said there is one question on my mind: Does Bethenny Frankel need Real Housewives or does Real Housewives need Bethenny Frankel? Let's break it all down and see why these two forces may be pairing up again.
Failed Television Shows
Before she joined RHONY, Frankel initially tried to launch her career on Martha Stewart's Apprentice spinoff which did not lead to major success. After she departed from RHONY, she had her own series called Bethenny Getting Married with her soon-to-be ex-husband Jason Hoppy. The title of that show ironically changed to Bethenny Ever After. Then she had her own talk show called Bethenny which was cancelled in February. Now we never see Frankel on TV minus some guest appearances on the Bravo talkshow Watch What Happens Live. Guess she's been missing the cameras.
Revolving Door of Housewives
Frankel added a great deal of both humorous commentary and compelling drama during her stint on RHONY. Her absence left a big void, which Bravo tried to fill with various replacements. Since her departure five women have joined the cast — Carole Radziwill, Heather Thomson, Kristen Taekman, Cindy Barshop, and Aviva Drescher — and five women have exited the show — Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Kelly Bensimon, Barshop, and most recently, Drescher. Ramona Singer and LuAnn de Lesseps have been reduced to recurring roles. This lack of consistency could be a reason that viewers are turning away. Bravo needs to find the right balance between having a solid cast and "shaking it up" to be interesting.
Businesses to Promote
Frankel has an amazing empire. Through her Skinnygirl brand sells a wide range of products including alcohol, books, snacks, shapewear, and exercise DVDs. Returning to Bravo gives her a platform to promote existing and future ventures in addition to putting her back in touch with her target demographic. Conversely, would make sense to say that fans of Skinnygirl would love to watch her life play out since she is really selling an aspirational lifestyle through her product lines. Bottom line: Frankel returning to Bravo can give the network more viewers and give the businesswoman increased sales. Not that she's hurting for cash or anything.
Frankel and Hoppy are still not divorced. The formerly adorable couple has been involved in some legal controversies. The details of their divorce have been all over the press for the past two years. My girl has been painted in a villainous light and it's hard to have an opinion as fan since we don't see their relationship every week on TV anymore. Frankel will be able to share her side of the story or at least show us what her life is like these days. In return, Bravo can capitalize on the intrigue surrounding their marital situation.
In this Together
It's clear that Bravo and Frankel are both struggling right now and it pains me. Frankel returning to the franchise could have a mutually beneficial or mutually disadvantageous effect on both the network and the entrepreneur. As a superfan, I have an optimistic feeling that this will work out for both parties.
Ps. Bravo, you should bring back Jill Zarin while you're at it.
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