'Southern Charm' Cast Members Before They Were Bravo Reality Stars

The hit Bravo show Southern Charm didn't start out the way fans have seen it for the last three seasons. Initially, Southern Charm executive producers Whitney Sudler-Smith and Bryan Kestner wanted to do a show set in Charleston that would highlight the life of an upper-crust Peter Pan in the Holy City. They put together a promotional video for a show that would have been called Southern Gentlemen. In the Southern Gentlemen video, Thomas Ravenel and Shep Rose talk about their life before Southern Charm.

Watch the Southern Gentlemen sizzle reel here

One of the executive producers of Southern Charm, Bryan Kestner, has dropped out of sight after some run-ins with the law that included Criminal Domestic Violence (CDV) and drug possession in Charleston, says the Inquisitr. Kestner pleaded guilty to CDV involving his former fiancee, and he was also arrested for possession of drugs and public urination in downtown Charleston, where Southern Charm is shot. Kestner's name is still on the IMDB page for Southern Charm, but he is no longer part of the day to day workings.

Reality Tea broke the story that before Southern Charm was given the green light, Whitney Sudler-Smith, and Bryan Kestner, with the help of Kestner's former fiancee, Dawn Price, put together a package to launch a show called Southern Gentlemen, which would highlight the lives of four southern gentlemen in high society making their way through events like balls and polo matches.


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The package consisted of a Southern Gentlemen sizzle reel video and a show bible. They went further in depth, describing the gentlemen, who were Whitney Sudler-Smith, Thomas Ravenel, Shep Rose, and Craig Conover. Each gave a description of their habitat and their ideal plus one. In the video, Thomas Ravenel (the one gentleman actually from Charleston) talks about his prominent family and his fall from grace.

According to Ravenel, he was convicted of using cocaine and sharing his stash with his friends, but not selling it to them while he was the South Carolina state treasurer. Ravenel complained that he got more time in prison than his drug dealer, and he also inferred that Senator Lindsey Graham might have been behind the whole thing as Ravenel was planning to run for Graham's congressional seat (fans saw Ravenel run for office on Southern Charm with a dismal outcome). In the Southern Gentlemen video, Shep Rose portrays himself as an outdoorsman, boasting about the heads mounted on the walls of his family home, in addition to his other trophies, and his selection of guns and rifles used for hunting.

But Southern Gentlemen turned into Southern Charm when Bravo said that the show needed some women in the cast and not just as accessories and dates for the "gentlemen." So Cameran Eubanks, Jenna King, and eventually, Kathryn Calhoun Dennis were added in to round out the cast.

But it sounds like it was a good thing, switching from Southern Gentlemen to Southern Charm, because the series is about to expand to Savannah and New Orleans, says Bravo.

Bravo put out a release for the next Southern Charm town of Savannah.
"In addition to following the relationships of our Charmers down in Charleston, Bravo has confirmed that a whole new crew will bring the drama to the network with Southern Charm Savannah. The new series will follow the lives of six pals as they try to leave their mark on the world in the posh city filled with heirs and socialites."
There is no official release date for Southern Charm Savannah at this point.

Do you think Southern Gentlemen would have been a success if Bravo went in that direction?


[Featured Image by Bravo]