'The Real Housewives of D.C.': More than just Michaele Salahi, party crasher
Thanks to an alleged party crasher named Michaele Salahi, Andy Cohen knows, possibly better than anyone, how much more "The Real Housewives of D.C." has become than when it was hatched.
Cohen -- Bravo's senior vice president of programming and development, and also the host of the network's show "Watch What Happens Live" -- was in the thick of the controversy that exploded last November over the White House visit paid by Tareq Salahi and his wife Michaele, one of the Washington-based "Real Housewives"` in the franchise's latest unscripted series, premiering Thursday, Aug. 5.
"We want people to know about this show for the five women who are in it, not just one," Cohen tells Zap2it, emphasizing the White House incident "happens within the latter part of the series. So much more happens in the show -- outside of what happened with the Salahis -- that I think when people see the first episode, they'll say, 'Oh!'
"You certainly get a fuller picture of Michaele," Cohen adds. "I think the fact that she's known (fellow D.C. 'Housewives') Lynda [Erkiletian] and Mary [Amons] socially for 15 years, and that they have interesting points of entry to her, helps complete the story."
Having showcased "Real Housewives" of New York, New Jersey, Atlanta and Orange County (Calif.) already, with Beverly Hills to come later, Cohen says the idea of making the nation's capital one of the sites "popped up after the (2008 presidential) election.
"The casting was really good; we really responded to everyone who made it into the show. They seemed larger-than-life and independent, living aspirational lifestyles, and they all were really rooted in D.C. They had something to say about it. And I think D.C. looks more upscale and sexier in this than it has in a while."
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