The reports last week that there will be major casting changes on the next season of Bravo’s reality hit The Real Housewives of New York City are indeed true: In a statement, Bravo confirmed to EW that Jill Zarin, Kelly Bensimon, Alex McCord, and Cindy Barshop are not currently signed to be regulars on the upcoming season five of the hit reality series. The network, however, claims to “continue to have on-going discussions” with the four ousted housewives.
“Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan, and LuAnn DeLesseps will be returning for season five of The Real Housewives of New York City,” a Bravo spokesperson told EW via email. “We’ve had a fabulous run with all the ladies and appreciate them sharing their lives with our viewers. It is a friendly departure among the other ladies and we continue to have on-going discussions with them.”
Zarin and McCord were original housewives in the first season of the series; Bensimon was added at the beginning of season two; and Barshop officially became a housewife at the beginning of season four, the last to air. Of those returning for season five, Singer and DeLesseps are the only two members of the original cast remaining; Morgan joined partway through season three.
This is not the first big defection for the series: Original cast member Bethenny Frankel completed three seasons of the show before leaving for her own show, Bethenny Ever After, which was a runaway ratings smash and was renewed for a third season back in March.
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