Former Real Housewives of New York star, Bethenny Frankel, has turned her focus now to producing primarily female-centric content with Mark Burnett and MGM television. Frankel recently announced her departure from the Real Housewives franchise, thanking fans as she spoke of her beginnings on the show back in 2008.
Since then, Frankel has had no shortage of successful ventures. She built a successful company around her flagship Skinnygirl products and brand name and is a two-time New York Times best-selling author. In addition to that, she's done other reality TV with varying degrees of success. Bethenny competed on Skating with the Stars, had a brief stint as a talk show host with Bethenny, and her business mogul status earned her several guest stints on the show Shark Tank. Bethenny also starred in several reality TV spinoff shows, including Bethenny Ever After and the short-lived Bethenny and Fredrick. More recently, in addition to continued success with Skinnygirl and her return to and subsequent departure from the Real Housewives franchise, Bethenny has also garnered a lot of attention for her philanthropic efforts, which include founding B strong, a charity providing emergency assistance to women in crisis, through which Bethanny has helped raised over 20 million in hurricane relief efforts as well as helped efforts fighting fires in the Amazon.
According to Variety, her latest venture would take a female-centric turn, which, with her ever-expanding business resume and her passion for helping women, should come as no surprise. The production deal with MGM was initially announced in the spring of 2019, but details have been scarce until now as to what type of projects would be covered. Bethenny spoke to reporters on the purple carpet at the Emmys and revealed some details about the projects already in the works with her new MGM deal, several of which already have received offers from networks.
The first is a docu-competition show Frankel says will be a “continuation of [her] story with a business twist,” in which Bethenny herself will be featured. The second show she talked about was a soft scripted series - soft scripted meaning it will follow a loose story arc, but have lots of room for ad-libbing by the stars, that will follow a group of "hilarious women". The other shows in development all fall into the business and comedy spaces, including a "women coming-of-age" comedy. Bethenny noted that the comedy shows all share an irreverent humor, a trademark of her own personal sense of humor fans saw on Real Housewives.
While there are few other details of what can be expected, some possible hints to the shows mentioned or others in the works can be found on Bettheny's own social media posts. Back in April, she posted on Facebook, "As part of my exciting deal with #mgm, I'm creating your next guilty pleasure!". The post was accompanied by a casting notice looking for a "mom squad" made up of a real-life group of moms comprised of "5-7 women who live in the same area".
Could this be the soft scripted series she mentioned? Is she acknowledging a scripting component to reality TV? Or is this casting for something else yet undisclosed? We can't be sure, but one thing is for sure - many reality TV fans will be tuning in to see what this one-woman reality TV brand has to offer the reality TV landscape.
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Tuesdays at 9pm EST on Bravo.