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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Orange County

What's the *Real* Reason Why Real Housewives Don't Return to the Series?

A Bravo exec explains the complicated process of saying goodbye — and reveals the Housewife he's so glad is returning. 

By Rachael Roberts
Your First Look at #RHOC Season 12

For a Real Housewives fan, there's nothing quite as thrilling as finding out who will be returning next season. From Bethenny Frankel's departure from The Real Housewives of New York City in Season 4 to Heather Dubrow's recent exit from The Real Housewives of Orange Countythere have been some major cast shake-ups that have rocked the Bravo world. (NeNe Leakes' return for The Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 10, anyone?) 

How to Watch

Watch RHOC on Bravo on Wednesdays at 8/7c and next day on Peacock. Catch up on the Bravo App.

When The Daily Dish Podcast caught up with Ryan Flynn, Bravo executive of both RHONY and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, hosts Megan and Rachael had to ask: How do you know when it's time to say goodbye to a Housewife?

"Most often than not it is a mutual understanding and a decision and it’s not even so much of a we’re telling someone to leave," he explained. "Everyone knows the time is just right." What defines that "right time" could be a myriad of things, according to the exec. "Whether it's a first season Housewife that just didn't click or never sort of found the rhythm, or whether it's someone who's been on many seasons who is just a very different person from when we started with them and their life is in a place now where it just maybe doesn't make sense for us to be sort of in their lives every day."

Regardless of the reason, these decisions are never made lightly. "It's a process and it's a know, not everyone goes quietly into the night," Ryan added. "Sometimes, understandably, there's some hurt feelings or some confusion. I think when we all think, 'Oh my God, we could never move on without fill in the blank,' somehow we do. We find new lives and new stories and new challenges with new cast, with current Housewives that you know it's just kind of everyone keeps trudging along." 

This process itself has also had a bit of a bumpy ride. "I think we've learned lessons, we don't get rid of too many at one time," Ryan said. "I forgot what season it was on [The Real Housewives of] New York [City], we let go of three at once. That's a lot of change. And I think almost too much change sometimes for the audience to accept...but hey, in a season if it's one out, one in you make it work and I think fans are also excited about new [Housewives]."  

Of course, there's always a comeback. When asked which Housewife he was most sad to see leave, Ryan touched down on the O.C. "I think Lydia McLaughlin was someone who I was sad to see go," said Ryan, who was EP for RHOC at the time. "When she didn't come back the first time, we all wanted her back. And it just didn't work for a lot of reasons. I think it was family. I think it was kids. I think it's a lot of things. But as a fan, even though I don't oversee Orange County anymore, I'm so excited that she's back because I always loved that sort of that spunky, sparkly energy. She's the kind of woman who would step foot in a pit of fire and somehow dance through it all and smile. And I think that's so great about her."

Oh how we can't wait for Season 12! 

You can listen to the entire episode now. 

New episodes of Bravo's The Daily Dish are available on Thursdays. Listen, like, and subscribe to Bravo TV's The Daily Dish podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Google Play, and make yourself part of the conversation by tweeting @Bravotv and using the hashtag #BravoDailyDish.

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