Fans were surprised to learn this week that Bethenny Frankel will be returning to the Real Housewives of New York City for Season 7. But how long has the plan been in the works? And how did Andy Cohen convince her to come back?
In the latest episode of Ask Andy, the franchise's executive producer opens up about her return. "The thing transpired in her kitchen," he says of their early conversations. "I went over there to convince her to come back to the show. She had different ideas about things she wanted to do. I kind of said I don't think that those are good ideas. I have a good idea! I brought it up and she said OK I'm listening. I told her all my reasons. I could tell that she was seriously going to think about it. We had a very long talk about it. And then she said I'm in. We had a deal. This all happened in late-June, I think, or July. The idea that we've been able to keep it a secret for as long as we did, was great."
Does Andy think Bethenny will jibe well with the rest of the cast? "I don't know," he admits. "I think the Heather-Carole [friendship] is a coin toss. I think she and LuAnn weirdly will get along. I think the rest are up for grabs."
One Housewife she won't have to worry about: Aviva Drescher, who is not returning. So what was behind her exit? "That was a situation where we listened to the fans," Andy reveals.
Andy also shares that the idea of having Jill Zarin return to the franchise has been discussed. "There's a story in my book [the Andy Cohen Diaries] where I talk about—and no one knows this either—that there was a plan for Jill to come back last season, for one scene," Andy says. "It was my fantasy. And it didn't work out. It was at the very last minute that it didn't work out." But don't expect her to come back for Season 7: "I think there would be a cast mutiny."
•Andy Cohen Reveals His Dream 'RHONJ' Cast
•Andy Cohen Is Going on Tour
•Andy Gives the Scoop on Porsha's New 'RHOA' Role
•Bethenny Frankel: Why I'm Returning to 'RHONY'
•Andy Says the 'RHONJ' Reunion Is Intense
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