The TV Column: ‘Real Housewives of D.C.’ won’t be back for second season
By Lisa de Moraes,
Ta-ta, royalty-canoodling Cat Ommanney!
Bye-bye, modeling-agency matron Lynda Erkiletian!
So long, mom-of-five/Arthur Godfrey granddaughter Mary Amons!
See you ’round, real-estate agent Stacie Turner!
And we think we’ll miss you most of all, Michaele Salahi!
“The Real Housewives of D.C.” has been canceled.
Cat confidently told The Post in late February that the deafening silence since the show’s October 2010 finale “has made people think there won’t be one, but I’m quite confident that there will be a second season.”
But the fat lady sang for the show Thursday afternoon.
Bethesda-based Half Yard Productions contacted the cast members to let them know that Washington’s contribution to Bravo’s hot docu-soap franchise would not be picked up for a second season.
This marks the first time in “Housewives” history that an iteration has not moved forward for a second season. The franchise got its start in 2006 at the height of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” mania.
“We had an amazing season and we told stories that were unique to any other in the franchise. I wish all our D.C. wives the best and hope to work with them again in another capacity,” Andy Cohen, Bravo’s executive vice president of original programming and development, said in an e-mail exchange with The TV Column, in response to our query Thursday.
“In fact, Cat is booked on our April 28th ‘Watch What Happens Live Royal Wedding Spectacular,’ ” added Cohen — ever the showman.
(Cat is, of course, the most qualified person in this country to cover the storybook wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton, having claimed to have made out with the wedding’s best man. That would be Harry — William’s brother.)
Cohen says he’s already working on new projects with Half Yard.
“Real Housewives” series set in other cities have typically rushed a second season onto Bravo’s lineup within a year of the first season. The cable network has already announced a second season of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” which debuted after the wrap-up of the “D.C.” version and finished its first run in January.
But Bravo had remained tight-lipped regarding a second season of the Washington show. And, there were never any signs around town of shooting new episodes.
So what killed “D.C.”?
“Real Housewives of D.C.” had performed respectably in its first season, averaging about 1.4 million viewers. At that time, it was trending behind only “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” which had a first-season audience of 2.6 million.
And the first season of “Real Housewives of D.C.” did not lack for press buzz, what with its featuring Michaele and Tareq Salahi and all the hoo-ha about their “gate-crashing” visit to that White House state dinner that, some say, derailed the show. The other D.C. housewives certainly did not appear any too happy about it in the public appearances they made.
But the housewives of D.C. were not wig-tearing, table-flipping mad. This was a problem.
They were, quite simply, too dignified. Too Washington.
“It’s less noisy,” Cohen acknowledged of the Washington version, back in October when being interviewed by The TV Column.
Other “Real Housewives” editions also had an advantage over “D.C.” because they were located in, or spitting distance from, Capitals of Fatuous Media. Those housewives could be seen every night at parties that were being covered by “E.T.” and “Extra” and “Access Hollywood.”
Sure, Washington is a media town — it’s just a different kind of media town. A serious media town.
“It’s serious, it’s politics,” Cohen acknowledged at that time. “The level of discourse on this show is different. For people who expect to see table flipping or wig pulling, that was never going to happen on this show.”
Then came “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
With “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” Bravo headed back to familiar territory: blond, booby, overstated plastic surgery, major house porn. “Bev Hills” was over-the-top and utterly super-superficial.
It also enjoyed the franchise’s most promising cast ever, having been populated with pre-sold names. In the course of the first “Beverly Hills” season, we saw Camille Grammer getting dumped by hubby Kelsey Grammer on national TV, while Kelsey was off doing “La Cage aux Folles” on Broadway.
“Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” also boasted two Paris Hilton aunts: former child stars Kim and Kyle Richards.
“Beverly Hills” opened in a big way: 1.5 million tuned in. And the show’s ratings kept climbing until hitting 3 million viewers in the finale — double the “D.C.” finale crowd.
Last month, Bravo announced that “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” would be back for a second season.
“Beverly Hills” joins versions set in New York, Atlanta, Orange County and New Jersey. “Real Housewives of Miami” has just finished its first season but there is, as yet, no word on its future.
Snooki’s new show
Batten down the hatches and gird your loins: “Jersey Shore” stars Snooki, JWoww and Pauly D are getting their own MTV series.
Suits at the Viacom-owned cable network announced Thursday that they are spinning off these members of their hit docu-soap series “Jersey Shore” in two new, as-yet-untitled (send your ideas here) reality projects.
Both shows will begin production this year; the network plans to debut them in 2012.
Both series will chronicle the lives that all three lead away from their summer shares and housemates.
And by “lives,” MTV means: “gym, tan, laundry.”
One of the 12-episode series orders is for a show following “Jersey Shore” superstar Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and her pal Jenni “JWoww” Farley as they “deal with life and love when vacation is over.” And by “life and love,” MTV means: “gym, tan, laundry.”
An as-yet-untitled Paul “DJ Pauly D” Delvecchio series will follow “Pauly-D’s jet-setting and often hilarious life on the road as one of the country’s most in-demand DJs,” the network said.
“Jersey Shore” is ranked No. 1 for all original cable series among viewers between the ages of 12 and 34. Nearly 8 million people watched “Jersey Shore’s” third-season finale last month, to see those crazy-in-love kids Sammi and Ronnie fight — again. You had to be there.
Anyway, that was nearly 60 percent more viewers than watched the first-season finale, which happened only about 14 months earlier.
Ever since the Associated Press on Monday pulled the starter-gun trigger on the race to report Katie Couric Is Leaving CBS Evening News But May Stay With CBS, Or Not (Depending On The Offers She Gets For A Syndicated Show), it appears that other TV-news on-air talent has been trying to horn in on Katie’s action.
That has resulted in a flurry of press reports of on-air talent who might be hurling themselves from their multimillion-dollar gravy trains, like lemmings vacationing at scenic Norwegian cliffs.
A couple of days after the AP let fly with its report on Couric, a report surfaced that Meredith Vieira might leave NBC News’ “Today” show when her contract is up this year.
Vieira’s original three-year contract to host the morning infotainment show already expired, and she’s been operating under a one-year contract that’s coming up in September.
She’s sick of the early-morning grind — aren’t we all? — and has other personal reasons for thinking about throwing in the towel, but NBC News execs are doing their best to keep her onboard, the report said.
Faster than you can say “agents love to negotiate big-ticket talent contracts in the press,” “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider” started reporting that “Today’s” other co-host, Matt Lauer, planned to tell NBC News honchos that he was going to leave the show.
Lauer’s camp has let his NBC bosses know he is resigning from the show, both bastions of journalism reported.
When Matt’s contract expires.
On Dec. 31.
With the two brightest stars in the “Today” show firmament (sorry, Ann Curry) now on the May Be Leaving List, the show was moved to issue a statement, saying: “There seems to be an awful lot of speculation around news anchors these days, and it’s not our practice to comment on any of it.” The show noted that Lauer and Vieira are currently under contract.
Then, as the Reporters Who Cover Television scrambled to find out who would be the next to think about maybe leaving his or her highly overpaid job in TV news, that evil genius over at Time, James Poniewozik, planted his flag in all future They May Be Leaving stories, giving him bragging rights to say that he had the story first, when he tweeted:
“People currently on TV shows will, at some point in the future, no longer be on those shows.”
Drat! Why didn’t we think of that?!