TV & Movies
RHONY Stars Leah & Eboni Weighed In On Bravo Axing The Season 13 Reunion
This is a franchise first.
For the first time in Housewives history, a season will end without a reunion to cap it off. Bravo confirmed the cancellation of the Real Housewives of New York Season 13 retrospective in a Friday, Sept. 17 statement to Variety, citing “scheduling challenges around taping the reunion ... in a timely manner” as the reason behind their decision to nix the annual multi-episode special. “It’s disappointing to not be able to bring the cast back together, but we are happy to have ended on such a high note with the finale, and are now shifting our focus to next season,” the statement read.
Soon afterward, RHONY cast members Leah McSweeney and Eboni K. Williams reacted to Bravo’s announcement in separate Instagram stories. “I’m getting a lot of messages about the reunion, and I will say that, as much as I do feel like we have things we all need to talk about with each other, I’m also really relieved to not have to talk about things that happened a year ago,” McSweeney explained to her Instagram followers. “It was a rough year all around, in general. And it’s been a season that I feel like has been unfairly torn apart, and we’ve all gone through the ringer while it was filming and while it was airing. So now there’s no reunion.”
Meanwhile, Williams, who joined McSweeney and castmates Sonja Morgan, Ramona Singer, and Luann de Lesseps, this season, wrote that she was “disappointed” she wouldn’t get the opportunity to wear the “masterpiece” Esé Azénabor gown she’d selected for her very first reunion. “What bastards!” she joked, while trying on the corseted dress she said was “better than it was in [her] mind” in her Instagram video.
The fact that the women hadn’t even filmed the reunion prior to the show’s Aug. 31 finale had stoked rumors that the cast sit-down could be in jeopardy. Despite the speculation, however, a production source told People on Sept. 1 that the reunion, albeit delayed, was indeed still on, and the entire cast would “soon” be filming in person. Williams herself had confirmed to Variety weeks earlier that the reunion was happening: “I was told a time. I was told that we’re having a reunion. I was told what to wear to said reunion.” As recently as Sept. 8, Morgan also told Us Weekly that the taping was still in the works.
But, as McSweeney referenced in her Instagram story, RHONY had certainly endured several unusual challenges this year, ranging from filming shutdowns and health restrictions to having a smaller-than-usual cast of just five women, all of whom seemed to take turns facing public criticism for various onscreen behaviors. Ratings were uncharacteristically lackluster as well, with Variety writing that the Aug. 31 season finale, for example, drew only 841,000 viewers, compared to the 1.1 million who tuned in for last year’s final episode.
Prior to the reunion’s cancellation, Page Six reported that Bravo had initially scheduled the reunion to film on Aug. 5 but put those plans on hold amid the season-long ratings decline. With RHONY Season 14 filming reportedly now delayed until 2022, though, producers certainly have some time to tweak the formula.