Andy Cohen may be an executive producer of the Real Housewives franchise. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have real friendships with several of the women. In fact, during a new interview, he admitted to having “deep relationships” with three specific women.
In addition to revealing which former housewife he’d love to bring back to Bravo and sharing which actress will never return as a guest on Watch What Happens Live, Andy revealed which three ladies he’s closest to and offered an update on the recent split of RHONY.
“These shows have always been voyeuristic about the other half. It’s part of the backbone of the franchise. And I think it makes it fun to watch. You see that with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills — which has, in a weird way, emerged as the crown jewel in recent years. People love watching how these rich women live,” Andy began during an April interview with The Hollywood Reporter, who named him as their Unscripted TV Player of the Year.
The franchise was first launched in October 2006 with The Real Housewives of Orange County. And, in the years since, Andy has grown increasingly close with The Real Housewives of New York City‘s Luann de Lesseps, Real Housewives of New Jersey‘s Teresa Giudice, and Real Housewives of Atlanta‘s Kandi Burruss, who have secured themselves as long-standing cast members of their respective series.
“The ones that I’ve been with the longest are the ones that I have the deepest relationships with… It’s wild to me, the amount of time that I’ve known Luann de Lesseps, Teresa Giudice, and Kandi Burruss,” he shared. “Those are people that I consider colleagues. I have great respect for them — but yes, there is that odd relationship.”
Because he’s also their boss, Andy said he often serves as a “go-between” between cast members and Bravo amid contract disputes.
Another person he’s a big fan of is Alex McCord, naming her as the wife he most wants to bring back.
“This won’t happen because she’s living a totally different life in Australia as a therapist, but it would be Alex McCord for RHONY: Legacy,” he said.
“They’re all kind of standing by to find out marching orders. [But] I think we want to cast the new RHONY before we do anything else,” Andy continued of his plans for the series.
“We’re casting the new version right now… The response has been great,” he added.
When it comes to casting, Andy noted that he and his team are doing their best to be thorough as they hope to avoid situations like the recent firing of Real Housewives of Salt Lake City‘s Jennie Nguyen, who was exposed for having shared a number of shocking and offensive messages in regard to the Black Lives Matter movement on Facebook.
“Trying to get the most real picture of who someone is before you put them on TV has become more important than it ever was. This is all a work in progress,” he shared. “You listen to your audience about what they will and will not accept — or celebrate — in their Housewives.”
Although Andy admitted to hitting a wall five years into his hosting gig on WWHL, and prompting viewers to feel that he was “kind of over it,” he said he now has a renewed love for the series and hopes to continue with it beyond the end of his current contract in 2023.
“I will do it as long as they’ll let me. I love it. I hit a wall in year five, when I was kind of checking boxes for a minute. But I’m just feeling so much energy and excitement for it right now,” he confirmed.
As for who will never agree to be on the late-night talk show again, Andy named Terms of Endearment actress Debra Winger.
“Debra Winger did not seem to be my biggest fan after she did the show,” he explained.
Also during the interview, Andy shared details about a show he produced that failed, which was a reboot of Battle of the Network Stars.
“The conceit was that they were all reality stars. It was people from American Idol, Survivor, maybe a couple from Project Runway. [Omarosa Manigault] was a sideline reporter. Richard Hatch competed, so did some women from that plastic surgery show, The Swan, on Fox. And it was just a huge bomb,” he admitted. “The Bravo audience didn’t want that on any level.”