The upcoming 16th season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta is said to be undergoing a major transformation.
As news broke that the season 15 reunion will be condensed to just two parts for the first time since season three (season nine had four parts), rumors have circulated that Bravo and its production team are considering a complete makeover, similar to the one carried out on The Real Housewives of New York City in preparation for its 14th season.
According to a report by Love B Scott on August 29, production made the decision to revamp the cast during the filming of the RHOA season 15 reunion. Delighted with the positive response following the RHONY recasting, Bravo has supposedly agreed to introduce new women for season 16 and is currently in the casting process.
The report goes on to say that Bravo and its production team are seeking entirely new women and have no plans to bring back any former stars, including Kim Zolciak, 45, and Porsha Williams, 42, (now Porsha Guobadia). However, for the potential “friend” roles of the season, they are open to the idea of retaining “one or two” cast members from season 15.
Once the reunion concludes airing next month, the series may take a brief hiatus to continue the casting process and ensure the selection of suitable women. As the outlet explains, executives are apprehensive about the viewers’ response to the series and consider the 15th season to be one of its worst, if not the worst, despite reportedly reediting the final episodes to make the show more captivating.
Kenya Moore, 52, has been critical of producers in recent weeks, accusing them of cutting out her storyline and removing footage of her salon event and daughter Brooklyn’s birthday from the season. However, production sources told Love B Scott that there was no favoritism involved; rather, the scenes were eliminated because they were deemed “dull.”
Despite many fans’ desire to see Kenya and Kandi Burruss, 47, return for season 16 due to their long tenure on the show, Kandi, the franchise’s longest-serving current Housewife, is also the highest-paid. Letting go of their salaries would free up a significant amount of money for a new cast.
According to the report, Kenya and Kandi are each allegedly earning around $100,000 per episode, the same amount that the RHONY cast receives for an entire season.
Radar Online suggested that the shakeup was a result of a “tedious” 15th season, stating that in addition to Kenya and Kandi, Marlo Hampton, 47, Sheree Whitfield, 53, Sanya Richards-Ross, 38, and Drew Sidora, 38, might also face the ax.
The outlet further revealed that the premiere in May garnered 834,000 viewers with a key demo rating of 0.28. However, viewership dropped to 738,000 the following week and continued to decline to 657,000 in subsequent weeks. The most recent episode, the finale, was watched by 793,000 viewers.
Several months ago, an insider informed Radar Online that the cast members were concerned about the possibility of being replaced due to the low ratings.
“They are apprehensive that Bravo will do a cast revamp like they did with the Real Housewives of New York cast,” the insider stated. “None of them feel secure, not even Kandi.”
The two-part Real Housewives of Atlanta season 15 reunion will air on Sunday, September 3, at 8/7c and conclude on Sunday, September 10, at 8/7c on Bravo.