Alas, on Sunday night, viewers will be introduced to "Real Housewives of Potomac," centered on the wealthy Maryland suburb. (Dallas will premiere later this year.) Frankly, the location was the biggest shock of all. You may remember that the last time the "Housewives" cameras came to the Washington area, it was complete disaster.
Cohen addressed this when the show was announced, telling Bravo that it was the group of women they cast — not the city — that made Potomac an attractive option. "We didn't go out saying, 'Oh we want to do another 'Housewives' in the D.C. area,'" he said. "It was the last thing on our minds, trust me."
Oh, we trust him. Not only was the series a mess, but it inadvertently got caught in the crosshairs of a major White House security scandal. If you're repressing the memory, here's a look back at why "Real Housewives of D.C." was such a failure, and the only franchise spin-off to be canceled after just one season:
1) The Salahis
You may know them as the "White House party crashers." About nine months before the show premiered in August 2010, cast member Michaele Salahi and her (now ex-) husband Tareq made worldwide headlines when they somehow made it into President Obama's first White House state dinner without being on the guest list. The Washington Post broke the story, which prompted investigations, congressional hearings about White House security and an avalanche of stories about the Salahi social-climbing ways and multiple lawsuits against them for not paying bills.
Even though it was basically free publicity, it wasn't the kind of attention Bravo wanted — especially when it was revealed that Bravo cameras had been with Michaele as she prepared to go to the state dinner. The whole incident tainted the show before it even started. Even by the time the story had blown over and "Real Housewives" premiered, many people were sick of the Salahis' antics. That included a fight with Whoopi Goldberg on "The View," which eventually led Michaele and Tareq to accuse Goldberg of verbal and physical abuse.
2) D.C. is not a reality show-friendly town.
Filming in Washington is generally known as a nightmare, thanks to all the restrictions about where you can film downtown. That wasn't a huge problem for "Real Housewives," since it typically filmed in homes or commercial establishments. But D.C. was an attractive city to the franchise because it's a town with powerful people. Only problem? Those powerful people don't want to be on camera for a reality show. That made casting difficult, in addition to getting other people to appear on camera.
3) Viewers (or lack thereof)
Contrary to popular belief, "Real Housewives of D.C." actually didn't do too poorly in the overall ratings: "D.C." averaged about 1.4 million viewers per episode, making it the most-watched first season in the franchise since "New Jersey" had 2.6 million. But the demographics weren't too pleasing: As The Post reported at the time, the median viewer age was 40, the oldest in the franchise, and not ideal for a network like Bravo aimed at younger viewers.
Plus, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" debuted around the same time and wound up with 3 million viewers at the end of its first season — so easy for Bravo to see what people were really interested in watching.
4) No drama
Sure, there were some fights among the cast members. But above all, D.C. is boooooring. No, really — even Cohen acknowledged that it wasn't as dramatic as he hoped. And "Real Housewives" thrives on nothing but drama.
"We knew this was going to be different from the others…it's less noisy," Cohen told The Post at the time. "It's serious, it's politics. 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."
Make no mistake: People pretty much only watch "Real Housewives" for table flipping and wig pulling.
5) D.C. reality show fatigue
"Real Housewives of D.C." premiered after "Real World D.C.," right in the middle of "Top Chef D.C." and at the same time as "D.C. Cupcakes." Viewers were over it.