The Real Housewives of New York reality show could soon be a thing of the past.
The New York Post reported that after accessing early Season 9 storylines Bravo network honchos are considering reducing the number of episodes for the new season because the “new cast did not bring enough heat.”
With the new season set to officially launch on April 5, sources indicate as few as 14 episodes could air this season for the suddenly ratings challenged show, significantly down from the 20 that were once the minimum standard.
“They are talking about cutting down the number of episodes in the series this year,” a source added while confirming that Tinsley Mortimer is set to join the cast this season as a replacement for Season 8 underachieving newcomer Jules Wainstein.
“Nothing happens,” a source added of evaluations of the early footage. “Tinsley was a dud.”
Meanwhile, more recent reports have producers of the show so unimpressed with what they see going forward the series is suddenly “starting to feel like a disaster.”
What that all means for franchise star Bethenny Frankel remains to be seen, with a source adding “Bethenny’s divorce has been going on so long that it is no longer interesting.”
Several media outlets have also reported Frankel refused to film any scenes with onetime pal turned arch rival Jill Zarin, who could be returning to the show in some capacity this season after a six-year hiatus.
“Bethenny has made it clear that if they are tempted to take Jill back full time, she will quit the show,” a source added. “It’s either her or Jill.”
Sources add Frankel is livid over the fact that Zarin is even featured in promotions for the new season and turned to drastic measures to make sure the cameras will still be zooming in on her throughout the season.
At one point in the upcoming season, Frankel is rumored to strip naked and jump into a pool, where she is later seen making out with cast mate Sonja Morgan after the latter raves to the former about how hot she is.
It’s also widely presumed that Frankel’s never-ending and increasingly hostile relationship with ex-husband Jason Hoppy will continue to prominently figure into her storyline. Hoppy was recently nabbed on stalking and harassment charges after confronting Frankel outside the grade school where their young daughter attends.
Frankel was later granted a restraining order prohibiting Hoppy from coming close to her.
Meanwhile, after Frankel’s clear and obvious snub, Zarin is said to spend the one and only episode she is known for certain to appear in interacting with LuAnn de Lesseps, who is set to wed Tom D’Agostino this season in a ceremony Frankel was not invited to after publicly accusing the groom of cheating.
“The only story that they have is LuAnn’s big wedding and she didn’t allow the show’s cameras inside to film it,” a source added.
Ratings for ‘RHONY’ are said to have been on the decline for some time, as cast mates from the series are no longer viewed as being as popular as the stars from other franchises such as “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” and “Real Housewives of New Jersey.”
No matter what, Frankel seems able to keep the cameras focused on her. The 46-year-old Skinnygirl mogul was recently spotted with a mystery man in Miami, sparking rumors of a possible new romance.
The man was later identified as Kennon Earl of HGTV’s “Selling LA.” The two have not publicly commented on the nature of their relationship,
Frankel is single after splitting from boyfriend Dennis Shields.
[Featured Image by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images]