When Is 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' Season 7? It Could Be Sooner Than You Think

Thinking about it in hindsight, the sixth season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey was cut down to a nub of what they filmed. The season was much shorter than Season 5, which had a fraction of the action, yet got a good 22 episodes to explain exactly why Teresa and Melissa did not get along, over and over again. By contrast, Season 6 had three new Housewives, crazy rumors about cross-generational infidelity, a very suspicious garbage business, and, of course, two guilty verdicts. The recurring Housewives, Kathy and Jacqueline, barely had time to appear in the season and neither one managed to get an arc or even nab an invitation to any of the parties. As this over-too-soon season draws to a close I'm already looking ahead to find out when RHONJ Season 7 will premiere.

A few places have reported that filming for Season 7 is already underway, in hopes that they can cover the period leading up to Teresa Giudice surrendering herself to jail. Teresa has not confirmed whether or not she and Joe will be a part of the season, but they do have some more serious business to take care of. Jacqueline Laurita suggested on Twitter that she'll be back next season, while Dina Manzo has confirmed that she has no interest in returning for Season 7.

If the crews are already hard at work on the seventh season, there's one problem — there's nowhere on the schedule for a new season of RHONJ to be aired. The Real Housewives of Atlanta is coming up in just a few weeks this November, soon to be followed by The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills sometime early in 2015, since we already know that they're filming. The Real Housewives of New Jersey usually shows up in mid-to-late summer, so this season would take almost a year to air under the normal schedule.

But why would Bravo want to sit on this footage for almost a year when buzz around the Giudice family is at an all-time high? Could there be a spinoff? If they really can't make room for Season 7 in the next few months, maybe they can edit some of the Teresa G. footage (if she does return) into a little miniseries, a much darker version of the Bravo wedding specials, and air it in January in the space between The Real Housewives of Atlanta and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? It might seem a little exploitative, but I don't think it would feel that way.

For better or for worse, the Giudices have become beloved for their television personalities, and themselves fallen in love with being television personalities. But even a totally sympathetic, generous portrayal — which is all that Bravo has ever given the Giudice clan — somehow makes for riveting TV.

Image: Alex Martinez/Bravo; Giphy (2)