Bravo TV is reportedly ready to "aim younger" when it comes to the upcoming 12th season of The Real Housewives of New York City.
According to a report from Radar Online, network executives are looking to shake things up with the cast by adding a couple of much younger ladies following the sudden exit of longtime star Bethenny Frankel, who announced her exit from the show last week.
"They are testing out two younger potentials," an insider explained.
One of those potential newbies is Leah McSweeney, 36, a friend of the series' youngest star, 44-year-old Tinsley Mortimer. As fans well know, the other ladies of the show are all above 50, including 54-year-old Luann de Lesseps, 55-year-old Sonja Morgan, and 62-year-old Ramona Singer.
As the insider explained, Bravo TV has already taken a younger approach to casting by bringing on new star Braunwyn Windham-Burke, 41, to The Real Housewives of Orange County and demoting the series' oldest star, 57-year-old Vicki Gunvalson. Prior to the demotion, Gunvalson had been the longest-running cast member of the entire Real Housewives franchise.
Last Wednesday, Frankel released a statement to Variety regarding to her plans to leave The Real Housewives off New York City and explore the next chapter in her life.
"It's time to move on and focus on my daughter, my philanthropy and my production partnership with Mark Burnett, producing and starring in shows which represent a shift in the conversation for women," she said.
Radar Online said that because Frankel's decision came just as filming was set to start on The Real Housewives of New York City, Bravo TV and the show's producers were left with no "Plan B."While McSweeney has been named as one of the potential new additions to the Real Housewives of New York City cast, there has not yet been any additional information given regarding the other women who may be joining the show. That said, there have been rumors regarding the potential return of cast member Jill Zarin, who appeared in a full-time role on the show for its first four seasons.
For the past three seasons, Zarin has been seen in guest-starring roles on the show. However, throughout her cameo roles, she's made it quite clear that she is at least open to appearing in a part-time role going forward.
The Real Housewives of New York City Season 12 is expected to air on Bravo TV sometime next year.