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Burning Questions

Showrunner Dave Rupel answers a ton of viewer questions before the holiday.

Wow! So many responses and so much debate about last week’s episode about Camille’s dinner party -- this week’s blog will be strictly answering your questions.

Question: “WindyCityWondering” (as well as several others) asked for more Beverly Hills and less fights. 

Answer: What can I say? You can’t please all the people all the time. I don’t mean that to sound glib. If you read all the responses to my last blog, some people loved all the drama, and some didn’t. Also, the previous two episodes contained zero fighting among wives. 107 revolved around Kim’s blind date in a $55 million dollar mansion, and 108 had two funny stories: Lisa’s driving test and Kim’s barbecue with “Single Gary,” and two dramatic, uplifting stories: Kyle’s bike-a-thon to raise money for cancer, while Taylor raised money for a domestic violence charity, something she revealed she witnessed as a child. While Windy, I hear what you are saying, it’s my job to tell a variety of stories. 

Q: True Grit believes there is a connection between the show Medium and Allison Dubois’ appearance on RHBH because Bravo is owned by NBC.

A: Understandable theory, Grit, but not the case. Medium was actually cancelled by NBC two years ago and has aired on CBS for the last two years. So no, there was no NBC corporate connection there. Also, Medium was cancelled by CBS weeks before Allison’s episode aired and Bravo would never give CBS an advance copy since they are a competitor of our parent company.

Q: CNM (as do many others) thinks we “struck gold” with this franchise. 

A: Thanks CNM. We think this cast is pretty fantastic and very unique as well.
Q: HeideBlue thinks the show is becoming the “Kyle and her mean girls posse” show.

A: What’s fascinating for me as a producer –- and someone who has studied human nature for years as a producer –- is the litmus tests these shows provide in how the audience react to certain people.  A lot of the audience loves Kyle.  A lot of the audience think she’s a bully. And there seems to be no consensus to who is in the wrong about the Kyle-Camille feud.  Q: ViewerBonnie wants to know if we’ve ever considered doing a version of "The Real Housewives of Walmart?" 

A: We get variations of this questions a great deal -- about doing a Housewives show about middle-class or lower class income families. I think the thought behind all these shows is that they are a bit of escapism and fantasy –- kind of like the prime time soaps, Dallas, Dynasty, and Falcon Crest were in the 80s. Even Knots Landing –- my personal favorite –- which started out with car salesman Sid quickly glammed things up with having Sid die and being replaced with a more glamorous spouse for Karen with Mac. Not to mention adding the uber glamorous Donna Mills and Nicolette Sheridan. I do think a “Walmart Wives” show would be equally fascinating –- it might just fit better on a different network.

Q: June London says listen to the psychic. Kyle and Camille are making things up for good TV.

A: If that claim were true, I’d be the biggest fool in the world. I have spent more hours -– both in person and on the phone –- with all six of the women at various points of the season who were incredibly upset about the dramatic things that have really happened all season long.

Q: Nola Chick is asking us not to shy away from tough questions at the reunion. 

A: Nola, we are compiling viewer questions as we speak for the reunion, so please keep sending them in. If you’ve seen other Housewives reunions, you know Andy Cohen doesn’t shy away from much.

Q: BeverlyHills Fan wants to know if things ever get so out of control that the producers either have to physically intervene, or just stop shooting.

A: Good question, BH fan. Personally, I have never had to physically intervene, though I would not hesitate, if needed. As for when arguments get really intense, yes, we have stepped in and stopped things. There is a fine line as a producer of getting the necessary drama, but also realizing when things are getting out-of-hand and it’s gone too far. In the New York fight of 105-106, we indeed did step in and shut things down. The reasons are always complicated. For one, we were deep into overtime that night, and had a two big shoot days coming up. If you kill your crew, and they are too tired to keep shooting –- what’s the point?  But more importantly, you have to be willing to acknowledge that these are real arguments prompting real hurt feelings. In NYC, the drama just became repetitive and the women were so freaked out –- being there first big on-camera argument –- it was time to sit with them and let them vent, cry, yell at you, and hug them –- in no particular order. 

At Camille’s dinner party, I was a few minutes away from intervening (again, because of overtime and the fight was becoming repetitive.) In my head, I was really hoping one of the women would stand up and end things. I thought Adrienne might do that, but much too my shock, Taylor did. 
Q: TL, SGee, and Mommabear all believe we shot the original Kyle-Camille conversation in Las Vegas and are purposely choosing not to show it.

A: This question has been asked and answered multiple times.  In my fifth blog, “Working Overtime,” I talk about it extensively. But the short answer is no, we were not shooting that day. We don’t shoot every day. We apparently shoot a lot less than you might think. During our shooting schedule, we have three crews, shooting five days a week. Each Wife generally shoots 2-5 days a week. It’s not economically feasible to shoot each cast member 24/7. Big Brother –- which I worked on the second season –- is the only show that I am aware of that does that. But their cast is always in one location, which makes it much different.

And finally, the real story is actually what you’ve heard on the show. The only three people around when the conversation took place were Kyle, Camille, and Kim. The rest of the crew were busy loading the 75 cases of gear into cargo vans to get to the airport. See my third blog, “Many Thanks” that explains just how much work goes into taking the show on the road.

Q:  FTWTX wants to know if there will ever be any special episode showing the interviewing process.

A: Interesting idea, though nothing like that is currently in the works. I will say that it’s pretty similar to standard journalistic interviews. The only difference is that we ask the talent to put our question into their answer, so that there answer makes sense without hearing the question. That’s a pretty standard technique for most reality shows.

Q: A Disgusted Viewer wants to know that the last few episodes have been stacked for drama and are a real turn-off.

A: I hear what you are saying, but for a lot of people, they enjoy these kind of shows. And I’ll just repeat my previous answer that the two episodes that preceded this one were conflict-free.Q: Karentc wants to know what I found funny about this episode. 

A: Well, Karen, as I stated in my last blog, I in no way wanted to make light of all the hurt feelings and tears shed the night of the dinner party.  However, looking back, I can find various things funny. Allison’s facial reactions were priceless to me –- and so was her vapor cigarette. When Camille brought up Faye’s Playboy issue and referred to liking her “spread” –- well, the ladies at the dinner table cracked up, and so did I. When Kim walked into the planter on the way out, I laughed. Not at her, but because it was classic Kim. She was the only lady gracious enough to formally thank Camille for extending the invitation –- then promptly walked into a plant. That reminded me of something that Mary Tyler Moore would have done on her sitcom. And finally, the sprinklers being turned on as the ladies exited –- it was just a fitting and unbelievable thing to end a totally unbelievable night.

Q: And finally, LRSCM says thank you for blogging.

A: You are very welcome, LRSCM.  Hey, it’s Christmas. Did you really think I was going to end on a criticism?  ;) 

On behalf of the roughly one hundred behind-the-scenes crew and staff that it takes to produce The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,  thank you for letting us into your homes! Have a safe and joyous holiday season! See ya in 2011!

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