How much of a reality show is actually reality? When it comes to the Real Housewives franchise, the screaming, crying, and glamorous lifestyles may not be as real as fans think. Are the shows scripted? Are the stars actors? On a recent Reddit AMA (ask me anything), a reality producer answered fans’ questions, and it turns out things are more complicated than expected.
Real Housewives Each Have Their Own Producer To Help With Storylines
According to In Touch Weekly, the anonymous producer explained that each housewife has their own producer, and it’s their job to develop that specific cast member’s storyline.
“So, they conspire to create plot points, image, etc… Each story producer’s housewife is their responsibility. If the housewife has a breakdown at 2 am and wants to quit the show, or is pissed about her edit, she calls her story producer,” wrote the source.
He went on to reveal that the story producer must pretend to be their housewife’s bestie and must gain their trust. But, is also their job to create exciting television.
Shooting In Public, Requires Planning Ahead
When it comes to anything shot outside of one of the cast member’s homes, it must be set up weeks in advance. Producers are required to get permission from the owner of a restaurant or any public location, plus they must obtain filming permits.
Real Housewives producer Rachel Tennione says that when you make a reality show, you have to deal with people who have their own minds and want to control their own images. So, producers don’t always know what they are going to get. They do plan things, write scenes, and even re-shoot them. But, at the end of the day, the stars have their own agendas and producers can’t control what comes out of their mouths.
Scenes Are Often Written And Shot Multiple Times
Yes, that’s right. Scenes are written and re-shot. Nicki Swift reports that the show is as authentic as several takes can make it, and the crew cues the ladies on when to start rolling, when to talk, where to walk, and when to cut. This makes the cast very similar to being actresses, which is what former Real Housewives of New Jersey star James Marchese (husband of Amber Marchese) calls the casts.
Even Teresa Giudice said under oath that the show is scripted but later backtracked when Andy Cohen confronted her about the claims on a Watch What Happens Live appearance.
A writer at All About The Real Housewives says the show is more guided than scripted, but producers do have control over when a housewife arrives somewhere or joins a conversation. They also remind them of past drama and things to discuss. They do, however, stop short of feeding the reality stars their lines.