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'Real Housewives of New York City' reunion canceled after low-rated season

For the first time in "Real Housewives" history, Bravo has canceled the show's reunion episodes.
/ Source: Reuters

After a challenging and low-rated season of "The Real Housewives of New York City," for the first time in "Real Housewives" history, Bravo has canceled the show's reunion episodes.

On Friday, a Bravo spokesperson said: "Due to scheduling challenges around taping the reunion of 'The Real Housewives of New York City' in a timely manner, Bravo confirmed there will not be a reunion for this season. It's disappointing to not be able to bring the cast back together, but we are happy to have ended on such a high note with the finale, and are now shifting our focus to next season."

The Real Housewives of New York City -- Season 13
Luann de Lesseps, Eboni K. Williams and Ramona Singer.Bravo / Heidi Gutman/Bravo

"Real Housewives" reunions generally tape in the weeks before the show's finale, and then are spread out over two or three episodes. But with this season of "RHONY," a source said that because the season of the show went over so poorly, the network wants to focus on rebuilding what has generally been one of the most popular franchises of the "Real Housewives" offerings. Scheduling it was difficult because of the women's summer plans, as well as friction among the cast, several of whom were in no rush to face one another.

And after this season's low ratings, there were doubts at the network that viewers would even care to see the annual ritual of confrontation and reconciliation in the current cast. In Nielsen's Live + Same Day ratings, "RHONY's" Aug. 31 season finale of the show drew only 841,000 viewers; for comparison's sake, last year's finale drew more than 1.1 million total viewers.

The gossip press, particularly the Daily Mail, has been publishing stories all summer about behind-the-scenes problems at "RHONY," and harping on about the reunion's postponements. In August, new cast member Eboni K. Williams, who was at the center of a lot of the confounding plots this season, told Variety that the reunion had indeed been scheduled.

This season of "RHONY" was handicapped by COVID, and a smaller than usual cast. After Tinsley Mortimer left in the middle of Season 12, and Dorinda Medley was fired after the season was concluded, there were only five "Housewives" this season: Williams, Sonja Morgan, Leah McSweeney, Luann de Lesseps and Ramona Singer. There was a sense of claustrophobia to "RHONY" this season, even when the women got out of the city: It was largely just the five of them fighting or drinking or both.

With several cast members still away for the summer, Bravo's hope was to just do it after the finale aired, and there were several dates on the books for September. Last Friday, "Real Housewives" executive producer and reunion referee Andy Cohen even tweeted to solicit questions for the cast.

But it wasn't to be. Instead of looking back at a season the network — and viewers — would rather forget, Bravo has decided instead to focus on reviving one of the cornerstones of the "Real Housewives" universe.

Bravo and TODAY are owned by the same parent company NBCUniversal.