Cast Blog: #WWHL

Housewives and the Hill

‘Tis the End of the Eighth Season

Ask, Believe, Receive A Kiss From Andy

Wish Upon a Giggy

Giving Thanks to WWHL

Weathering the Storm

Blue Cheese and Blunders

Pranks for the Memories

The Devil's Contraption

Jill Zarin Gets Fiesty on 'WWHL'

A Researcher's Dream!

To 300 More!

Watch What Happens Fire!

We're Back and Full of Surprises!

'Gossip Girl' Star Makes a Cameo on 'Watch What Happens Live'

The Weirder the Pair, The Better!

The Queen of Puns

Here Since the Beginning

The Housewife Wannabe

Bedazzled Legs, Anyone?

...And Nordstrom!

Why We Like Mike

When a Ginger Man Loves a Woman

The Locomotion!

The Body Roll

Take This Lollipop

Normal Office Conversation

From the Sky

Things I Need to Tell You

Happy Summer!

Andy's Career Advice

My Book!

How Did This Happen?

A Bravolebrity Bonanza

Viewer Mail: Andy Pleads the Fifth on Martha Stewart

Back from Vacation!

Pancakes!

Wednesday Morning

R.I.P.

Getting Myself in Gear

Viewer Mail: Andy's Most Difficult Guest

Housewives and the Hill

Andy Cohen explains the decision to keep the Salahis on 'The Real Housewives of D.C.'

Before I get to The Real Housewives of D.C., let me remind you that Season 6 of My Life on the D-List starts tonight with a visit to Liza Minelli's apartment (!) and the set of Law and Order: SVU. Kathy brings on the LOLs, and her show leads into the series premiere of Double Exposure, which follows superphotographers (and exes) Markus and Indrani as they shoot everyone from Lady Gaga to Lindsay Lohan. That show is drama, fun, and funny. 

We had a BLAST last night in the Bravo Clubhouse with Ramona and Dina and, yes, Grandma Wrinkles. When I got home, Grandma Wrinkles was a worldwide trending topic on Twitter?  That is whack; it made me Ramotional!  We're all so sad to see Dina go....

This morning Bravo announced that the The Real Housewives of D.C. is happening, and I want to share an Op Ed I wrote for today's HuffPo that explains our decision and hopefully answers a lot of questions you may have:

"HOUSEWIVES" AND THE HILL
Rarely in television is there a franchise that ignites as much continuous watercooler conversation -- and controversy -- as Bravo's The Real Housewives. While many may not admit the show is on their must watch list, the ratings belie the fact that it often is. For countless different reasons not only is it watched, but also dissected and debated with intensity. To me, it is one of the most fun, complex, and addictive shows on TV (but I'm biased).

The Real Housewives series presents a slice of life amongst affluent women living large in a defined region of our country. When we decided to extend The Real Housewives franchise to Washington, D.C., the country had just elected its first African-American President. In a time of great change for the country and D.C., we were increasingly interested in exploring the nexus of politics, society and race among women and how, in Washington, the proximity of political power seemingly dictates where one fits within Beltway society.Early last year we found five intriguing women whose relationships with each other, and with the city in which they live, were the perfect combination for this exploration. We tapped into the life force of Washington with the wife of a White House photographer; a Harvard-educated African American fundraiser; a born and raised Washingtonian whose grandfather Arthur Godfrey was a broadcasting legend; a successful entrepreneur; and a model and founder of D.C.'s America's Polo Club. We knew this was going to expose a different social commentary from our other Housewives series -- provocative and engaging in a whole new way. My fantasy was that our group of Housewives would disagree -- ok, maybe even fight -- about politics. This was to be a new breed of Housewives.

The great advantage to a docu-series, rather than a scripted drama or comedy, is the unexpected. The axiom "truth is stranger than fiction" reigns supreme at Bravo. But therein lies the rub: you can't predict or prepare for the unknown. And that was the case in November, when late in our production cycle Michaele Salahi told producers that she and her husband Tareq had been invited to the White House State Dinner. The production crew filmed the Salahis' preparation and arrival at the White House gate, but left as the crew wasn't credentialed for the Dinner.

We learned the following day -- as did everyone else, including the other D.C. Housewives -- of the alleged "gate crashing" incident. At the core of the reaction was the question of whether or not the Salahis had been invited. But one of the by-products of the aftermath was continued false reporting that somehow the Salahis had used the State Dinner as a "stunt" to be cast on the show. The fact is that by November we had been shooting the series with Michaele and the other women for months. In fact, we were a few weeks away from wrapping photography on the series. Any idea that attending the State Dinner was an audition to cement participation in the show is preposterous.

It is the job of the legal system to decide if and how the Salahis may have broken the law. But our decision to include them in the series speaks to a very basic programming mandate, which is to present real people as they exist within their universe. Meaning, we do not editorialize on their actions, how they raise their kids, live their lives, spend their money, or treat their friends. We show them as they are, with awareness but without judgment. We let them be themselves, and let the audience draw their own conclusions, and -- like with real relationships -- sometimes the way people feel about a Housewife changes throughout the season. Whatever the feeling, we leave it to the viewer to decide. I think that's one of the reasons why people are so obsessed with not only the Housewives franchise, but virtually every other show on Bravo and why the shows are so compelling. Viewers tend to find something relatable, aspirational, comparable, and familiar, as they compare themselves or their lives to those onscreen. And, it frequently happens that the greatest satisfaction comes from simply being able to say, "I would never do that!"We kept Michaele in the show because she has a compelling life story, distinct relationships with the other women, and most especially because she represents a very real example of the inextricably intertwined worlds of political connections with social hierarchy. To the people who might excoriate us and say we're making Michaele famous or glorifying what she did: 'here's what' -- we don't make shows to make people famous and as a corollary, we don't view being on a television show either as a reward or a punishment. That's up to the individuals who choose to do so and the people who choose to watch and react.

What happened at the White House plays out towards the end of our series, as it occurred towards the end of our production cycle. But the stories that unfold in the months before are as compelling -- if not more so. Michaele is one of the many characters whose lives intersect in the series and in real life; it would be unfair and unjust to the other women to say that the drama surrounding the Salahis is the focal point of the show; a lot happens, and it is riveting television.

So, before you judge this show, I hope you watch an episode. It is as distinctive from The Real Housewives of the O.C., New York, Atlanta, and New Jersey as the geographic locations themselves. This series features the same great storytelling and strong women with an exceptionally raw and revealing narrative. We could not have possibly imagined what would happen next. We still can't.

Want to reach Andy? E-mail him
Who's Andy? Read his bio
On Facebook? Join Andy
On Twitter? Follow Andy

Wish Upon a Giggy

WWHL's Associate Producer reveals her ultimate wish while recapping the wild week that was.

Catfights, Ron Ron Juice, and Lea Black - oh what a week it’s been. 

Tuesday night was filled with the gloriousness of one Ms. Joan Collins. She is classy and spicy and came to our studio clad in a white, sequined blazer. How can you beat that? Answer: you can’t.

Now, the 'Real Housewives' franchise has given us wig pulls, table flips, and year after year of Posche Fashion Show meltdowns. However, I must say, I’ve never seen anything quite as impressive as the Alexis and Krystle fights on 'Dynasty.' The WWHL staff knew that this level of lady-on-lady fighting was screaming for a remix. So, that’s exactly what we did. Check it out…

  

 

If I can only be granted one wish from my Giggy in a Bottle, may it be that I am lucky enough to engage in a fight that results in being pushed into a lily pond. *Fingers Crossed*

WWHL_Nov29_Lindsay_Giggy.jpg

(P.S. I don’t actually have Giggy in a bottle. Lisa Vanderpump, please don’t have me arrested.)

Wednesday night, we were joined by the ladies of 'Jersey Shore.' I must say, every single member of the 'Jersey Shore' brood is so darn nice. They’re like a modern-day version of 'Full House.'  Think about it, Pauly D is the perfect uncle. He has the same fervor for hair products as Uncle Jesse and the loveable laid back nature of Uncle Joey. Snooki’s baby, Lorenzo, is so lucky!

Speaking of fervor, I cannot stress how much our staff loves Ron Ron Juice. No, it’s not that we actively seek it out. However, when our 'Jersey Shore' friends stop by, our awesome Production Assistant, Tori, whips up a few pitchers. After the show is over, the WWHL staff scrambles to get a glass of the slushy beverage. It’s ice-y, it’s watermelon-y and it’s full of booze. A perfect post-show cocktail!

Finally, we ended our week with the fabulous “Mayor of Miami,” Lea Black. I love Lea Black. I love her jewelry, her chuckle, her family and her Galas. Thanks to Amy Phillips and her spot-on impersonation, we had not one, but TWO Lea Blacks for the night!

 

WWHL_Nov29_Lindsay_Lea.jpg

After the show, Amy and Lea stuck around for a few moments and chatted by my desk.  I can only hope that the two of them will have a Kiki in Miami, and that Elaine Lancaster will be there, and maybe a fight will break out, and maybe someone will get pushed into a lily pond, aaand maybe that person will be me! Dream accomplished! However, I promise we will not splash water on Lisa Hochstein’s speakers and ruin her party.

Check out Lea Black and Amy Phillips playing the role of Lea Black here…

Follow Lindsey on Twitter: @lkdinsmore