SUR may have partially reopened in February, but filming for Vanderpump Rules Season 9 remains on hold. Though Bravo has yet to officially renew the reality series, stars Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix recently gave fans some hope for its future. “Obviously, they want to do another season and they have every plan and intention of doing that, but it’s just because of the industry that we’re in, they don’t want to see us just like sitting in our houses,” Sandoval told Page Six on March 4, explaining that there are still “a lot of restrictions when it comes to productions” in Los Angeles.
Though SUR just opened its “socially distanced patios and garden” for the first time in almost a year, Sandoval’s TomTom bar, which he runs with Lisa Vanderpump and co-star Tom Schwartz, remains closed. As Madix added, they’re “kind of just waiting and seeing” what happens, and she “wants everyone to be safe” if and when filming begins. Scheana Shay also confirmed in a July tweet she was not quitting the show and planned to return to SUR “once work opens/picks back up.”
But the cast is going to look very different otherwise. Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright announced in December that they would not be returning to Vanderpump Rules’ next season. Shortly thereafter, Bravo confirmed the news to Variety, but offered no further explanation. Fans had long been calling for Taylor's firing after he falsely accused co-star Faith Stowers, a Black woman, of criminal activity. Lance Bass — a friend of Taylor's and Vanderpump’s — revealed on the June 15 episode of his Daily Popcast that he did "not see Bravo keeping [Taylor].”
This followed longtime Vanderpump stars Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute’s firings one week after Stowers revealed that they'd once reported her to the police for a crime she did not commit. The network, along with the show's production company Evolution Media, confirmed in a statement that they'd also fired Season 8 newcomers Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni, whose racist tweets resurfaced earlier this year. (All of the cast members have issued apologies for their racist actions.)
Stowers, meanwhile, told Page Six she felt "so vindicated [that] studios and production are able to see blatant racism and make these positive changes and help move the race forward, adding on an episode of Us Weekly's Watch With Us podcast that she would "love to go back" to the show now that Stassi and Kristen have been terminated. "I don’t have a problem with Vanderpump Rules. I don’t have a problem with Bravo in general," she said.
As for who else might be in the cast if and when Vanderpump returns, it’s anyone’s guess when Bravo will make any announcements. Vanderpump Rules is typically filmed the summer before it airs, but Bravo usually waits until November to confirm the new season's cast and premiere date. While filming for a potential Season 9 could get back on schedule in the coming months, the the coronavirus pandemic remains unpredictable.
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