Washington D.C. Invaded by Real Housewives
This is our now, Washington.
Bravo network's The Real Housewives of [Fill in the Blank] franchise is coming to our nation's capital.
NBC Universal-owned Bravo network has planted its flag in the Washington market, announcing it is developing a "Real Housewives" reality series set "in the influential metropolitan region of Washington D.C."
Expect to see the series hit Bravo's lineup in about a year, Andy Cohen, the network's senior vice president of original programming and development, says.
The new series will "tap personalities who are among Washington D.C.'s influential players, cultural connoisseurs, fashion sophisticates and philanthropic leaders -- the people who rub elbows with the most prominent people in the country," the network announced.
They've already put about 25 housewives on tape, Cohen says. The producers will now "lock down on" the handful of women who will make it to air. They're looking for a very "brand specific" Washington chick, Cohen said. That is: "wealthy, independent, strong, politically connected, outspoken" -- and, horsey. Yes, some of the finalists are "active in the horse community," Cohen says.
Though Washington had been rumored to be on the Real Housewives Hot List for ages, it only recently became a reality, by virtue of the fact that any day of the week you can't throw a brick at a newsstand without hitting at least two publications that have put President Barack Obama or First Lady Michelle Obama on the cover.
"There's a young hot couple in the White House and along with that comes a lot of interest in the place they're living and the restaurants they're eating in," Cohen says.
"[The media] is covering Obama going out for a hamburger...Everyone wants to know where Michelle is shopping and where she is having her hair done. Washington didn't need the Obamas to be one of the most important places in the world, but now, with the Obamas, they're ratcheting up its image as a place Us magazine is looking at -- for better or for worse."
In fact, Michelle Obama "is the kind of bulls-eye new Real Housewife of America," he said.
"But I don't want to say we're planting our flag in D.C. because of Michelle," Cohen added quickly.
"We always thought D.C. was an interesting town and wanted to develop there. With the influx of new blood it becomes sort of hotter and more interesting.
"We've -- and I say this with a straight face -- not had much political discourse on the Real Housewives franchise," Cohen said, making us like him even better. "I've tried to bring it up -- and have brought it up on a couple of OC reunion shows...Orange County is very Republican. I always found it interesting they're so Republican and yet they're so incredibly free with themselves and their sexuality -- they ride the line. I always love hearing about their staunch Republicanism in the face of No Cup Size Is Too Large...
"The key is, if we're going to do it in yet another city, we need to find a place that is very different."
Welcome to Washington, Real Housewives.
Lisa de Moraes
May 26, 2009; 1:47 PM ET
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