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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Orange County

Do You Remember the First Season of Every Real Housewives Show?

Look back at the Season 1 cast of every iteration of the franchise, from Orange County to Dubai.

By Sophie Vilensky

Can you believe we ever lived in a world without The Real Housewives? In 2005, people didn't know what they were missing. Then, in early 2006, The Real Housewives of Orange County premiered ... and society hasn't been the same since.

How to Watch

Watch The Real Housewives of Orange County on  Peacock and the Bravo App.

Keep scrolling to discover more about The Real Housewives franchise's humble beginnings. Plus, find out how the concept has expanded  since that fateful first day.

What was the first Real Housewives show?

The first show in the Real Housewives franchise was none other than The Real Housewives of Orange County, which premiered on Bravo in March 2006. But it wasn't easy to get it on the air.

“The rough cuts sucked,” recalled Andy Cohen of the show's beginnings in the book Not All Diamonds and Rosé by Dave Quinn. “I wanted it to go away. We were ready to kill the show.” 

Nevertheless, they stuck with it. And aren't we glad they did? Keep scrolling to learn about which Housewives franchises premiered when.

The Real Housewives of Orange County premiered on March 21, 2006

The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 1 cast together in front of a white backdrop

The first ever Housewives franchise, The Real Housewives of Orange County, premiered in March 2006. The original cast members were Kimberly Bryant, Jo De La RosaVicki GunvalsonJeana Keough, and Lauri Waring, and was only eight episodes long.

While none of the original crew were true Housewives during the most recent season (Season 17, which aired in 2023), Vicki did show up as a guest.

And, during BravoCon 2023, Vicki won the "Wifetime Achievement Award" for her work on the show over the years.

“It’s the big award of the night,” Andy explained during a September 2023 episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. “You are our big honoree. It’s the Wifetime Achievement Award, it’s like a lifetime achievement award for all of the work that you have done on Bravo. It’s a nod of appreciation to you.”

The honor immediately made Vicki tear up.

The Real Housewives of New York City premiered on March 4, 2008

The Real Housewives of New York City Season 1 cast wearing outerwear in the streets of NYC

Almost two years after RHOC premiered, Bravo cameras jetted off to the other side of the country to capture the lives of The Real Housewives of New York City original cast members Bethenny Frankel, Luann de Lesseps, Alex McCord, Ramona Singer, and Jill Zarin.

A decade and a half later, the show was entirely recast for Season 14. Lu and Ramona appeared in every season until the big switch-up.

“I think it’s gonna be interesting to watch,” Luann told E! News in December 2022 after the refresh was announced. “I think it’s [a] really hard first season, you know, on any show. When we first did the Housewives, we had no idea it would take off the way it did, so I wish them luck.”

“It’s a different era,” added Ramona. “Bravo knows what they’re doing.”

The Real Housewives of Atlanta premiered on October 7, 2008

The Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 1 Cast wearing cocktail dresses in a living room

The incomparable NeNe Leakes, DeShawn Snow, Shereé Whitfield, Lisa Wu Hartwell, and Kim Zolciak became Bravolebs with the premiere of The Real Housewives of Atlanta in October 2008, mere months after their New York counterparts.

"In the premiere episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta, NBA wife DeShawn and her family see their custom built mansion for the first time and she begins the search for the perfect staff to run it. Real estate powerhouse Lisa is learning to balance business and motherhood with her NFL hubby's support," reads the premiere episode's plot summary. "Meanwhile, after a three-year divorce battle with former NFL player Bob Whitfield, socialite Sherée plans a birthday blowout at her estate to celebrate her new life, and cracks the whip on her staff to make sure no detail is missed — from the Louis Vuitton cake to the exclusive guest list."

The Real Housewives of New Jersey premiered on May 12, 2009

The Season 1 cast of The Real Housewives of New Jersey on the Atlantic City boardwalk

For the fourth iteration of Real Housewives, cameras crossed the Hudson to capture Caroline Manzo, Jacqueline Laurita, Teresa Giudice, Dina Manzo (then Dina Cantin), and Danielle Staub as the original cast of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

The Real Housewives of D.C. premiered on August 5, 2010

The Real Housewives of D.C. Season 1 cast in a room that resembles the oval office

Although The Real Housewives of D.C. only lasted one season, it still holds a special place in the Housewives cannon.

The show featured "a slice of life amongst affluent, educated women, some raising kids, some driving careers, all interacting with friends and family as determined by the unwritten social rules of the Beltway." The cast members were: Mary Amons, Lynda Erkiletian, Cat Ommanney, Michaele Salahi, and Stacie Scott.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills premiered on October 14, 2010

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 1 Cast wearing cocktail dresses in a veranda

The shiniest diamond in the Housewives franchise, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, launched in October 2010 — a whole four years after their SoCal sisters' show.

The beginning cast featured sisters Kyle Richards and Kim Richards, Taylor Armstrong (who would one day move down the coast to become the first cross-franchise 'Wife), Camille Grammer, Adrienne Maloof, and Lisa Vanderpump.

In June 2022, Andy revealed the original casting tapes for the show, which Kyle said were "so embarrassing."

The Real Housewives of Miami premiered on February 22, 2011

The Real Housewives of Miami Season 1 cast wearing white dresses in a grand living room

Fuego. The Real Housewives of Miami first entered our lives in February 2011 with Lea Black, Adriana De Moura, Alexia Nepola (then Echevarria), Marysol Patton, Larsa Pippen, and Cristy Rice rounding out the cast. After three seasons, the show was put on pause, picking up again in December 2021.

The Real Housewives of Potomac premiered on January 17, 2016

The cast of Real Housewives of Potomac in bright dresses on a white couch in a living room

Bravo decided to give the Capitol another shot at the spotlight in 2016, casting their eyes just north to Potomac, Maryland with The Real Housewives of Potomac.

Today, four of the original six cast members still appear on the show: Gizelle Bryant, Ashley Darby, Robyn Dixon, and Karen Huger. The remaining two cast members, Charrisse Jackson-Jordan and Katie Rost, have also made appearances over the years as friends of the cast.

The Real Housewives of Dallas premiered on April 11, 2016

The Real Housewives of Dallas Season 1 Cast in a white room with brown chairs

What's happening down south? A few months after RHOP brought us back to Maryland, cameras went to Texas to capture Cary Deuber, Tiffany Hendra, Stephanie Hollman, LeeAnne Locken, and Brandi Redmond for The Real Housewives of Dallas.

After five seasons, the show wrapped up in May 2021.

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City premiered on November 11, 2020

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 1 cast wearing white and silver gowns

In November 2020, a chill emerged in the franchise when The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City premiered. The original cast included Lisa Barlow, Mary Cosby, Heather Gay, Meredith Marks, Whitney Rose, and Jen Shah.

Andy originally announced the show at BravoCon 2019. 

“We’ve always tried to choose a city that has completely unique personalities and we also try to throw a little curveball now and then. Pick somewhere you weren’t expecting,” he shared. “We are very excited to travel to Salt Lake City, Utah!”

The Real Housewives of Dubai premiered on June 1, 2022

The Real Housewives of Dubai Season 1 cast in gold gowns

The latest gem in the franchise is The Real Housewives of Dubai, which premiered in June 2022 with Nina Ali, Chanel Ayan, Caroline Brooks, Sara al Madani, Lesa Milan, and Caroline Stanbury in the cast.

The first international iteration of the show, RHODubai was announced in November 2021.

“Everything’s bigger in Dubai, and I couldn’t be more excited to launch Bravo’s first international Housewives series in a city I’ve been fascinated by for years, with an outstanding group of friends as our guides,” Andy said in a press release at the time.

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