‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ Girls Are in Trouble — How Bravo Can Prevent a Reboot

'The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ was once Bravo’s highest-rated reality show. But over the years, it just hasn’t been the same.

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Aug. 31 2023, Updated 1:05 p.m. ET

(l-r): Monyetta Shaw, Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore, and Sanya Richards-Ross filming 'RHOA' Season 15
Source: Bravo

Filming for The Real Housewives of Atlanta's Season 15 reunion happened in July 2023, but as a viewer, I wasn't excited about it.

RHOA isn’t just one of my favorite Bravo shows; it’s one of my favorite shows of all time. Off all the Housewives franchises, Atlanta always had a blend of comedy, Blackness, and fun shade.

Article continues below advertisement

But in recent years, the show's lackluster ratings have been disappointing for a while now, and some fans are calling for it to be canceled. And since Season 15 ended on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023, rumors have swirled that the production team is demanding a total recast of the show.

While a reboot is a popular choice, and has seemed to work out for The Real Housewives of New York City, there are ways Bravo could save the show before it’s too late.

(l-r): Drew Sidora, Marlo Hampton, Sheree Whitfield, Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore, and Sanya Richards-Ross
Source: Bravo
Article continues below advertisement

But first, let’s discuss this “reboot” business.

In August 2023, LoveBScott reported that RHOA may look differently in Season 16. According to the blog, production has been “quietly reaching out to managers and agents looking for new girls” to replace current cast members Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore, Sheree Whitfield, Marlo Hampton, Drew Sidora, and Sanya Richards-Ross.

The call to reboot RHOA reportedly came after the show didn’t receive the same response from Bravo after its 15th season wrapped. The network is reportedly “beyond thrilled” with the response the RHONY reboot has gotten, as well as Season 8 of The Real Housewives of Potomac and Season 10 of Married to Medicine.

Another possibility that production is considering is firing some of the show’s highest earners — Kandi and Kenya — and keeping about “one or two” ladies around as “friends of” Housewives, as they did when The Real Housewives of Miami returned in 2020.

Article continues below advertisement

Amid the rumors, many RHOA fans were incredibly upset by the possible decision and discussed it online. One X user, @SalvaCambranes, said the show doesn’t need a “cast reboot,” but that it actually needs a “production issue.”

According to The JasmineBrand, fans have since threatened the producers’ lives, as well as threatening to boycott the show altogether.

Article continues below advertisement

The threats caused RHOA EP Eric Fuller to speak out and say that he isn’t the one making the casting choices or which scenes make the final cut, seemingly responding to Kenya’s grievances about production not using any of the footage from her salon opening.

“I don’t make casting decisions, I don’t choose what scenes make it or not,” Eric wrote on his Instagram Story. “If you’re going to come for me, come for me for what I’m responsible for.”

Article continues below advertisement

Bravo hasn’t announced any official plans for a reboot and released a statement that “Nothing official has been decided.” I honestly don’t think a reboot for this show is necessary, and have some ideas for what the show could do instead.

Article continues below advertisement

Bring NeNe, Porsha, and Kim Zolciak back.

RHOA debuted in 2008 with a cast including NeNe Leakes, Sheree Whitfield, Lisa Wu, Kim Zolciak-Bierrmann, and DeShawn Snow. New members joined over time, with Season 6 featuring its highest ratings, with Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore, Porsha Williams, Cynthia Bailey, and Phaedra Parks being added to the cast.

However, only Kandi and Kenya have returned since then, leaving fans to ask for NeNe and Porsha's comeback. I would love to see NeNe's larger-than-life personality back on the show; she has plenty of things to discuss.

From the death of her beloved husband, Gregg Leakes, to her scandalous romance with Nyonisel Sioh, her son Bryson’s drug arrests, and her youngest Brentt's health scare, NeNe has plenty to discuss in between the witty one-liners we know and love her for. Unfortunately, that likely will never happen, considering NeNe sued Bravo and Andy Cohen for allegedly fostering a “racially insensitive workplace culture.”

Article continues below advertisement

Porsha is also a great candidate to come back to RHOA. The GoNaked Hair CEO infamously met her second husband, Simon Guobadia, while filming Season 13 of RHOA with his ex-wife, Falynn Pina. Season 13 was Porsha’s last, and fans desperately want her to explain her and Simon’s relationship timeline.

Article continues below advertisement

Porsha’s return is more promising than NeNe’s since she hasn’t sued the network and still has a good relationship with its executives. In March 2023, Porsha appeared on The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls’ Trip and has been on Watch What Happens Live several times in 2023.

Kim also sparked a new interest in her life that could be great for RHOA. NeNe herself has often said she and Kim have made RHOA what it is, and I always enjoy seeing them together, whether on good or bad terms.

Plus, many of us fans need answers after Kim and her husband, Kroy Biermann, filed for divorce in May 2023 and then quickly reconciled two months later. Rumors swirled that Kim and Kroy planned to file for divorce amid money troubles, so fans would undoubtedly tune in to see if Kim was broke.

Article continues below advertisement
(l-r): Kroy and Kim Zolciak-Biermann
Source: Getty Images

‘RHOA’ also needs to fire a few Season 15 cast members.

In addition to bringing back some of the stars from RHOA’s early reign, Bravo must take inventory of its current cast. During Season 13, the series hired Drew Sidora as a full-time Housewife, followed by Sanya Richards-Ross in Season 14.

Article continues below advertisement

Season 14 was also when Marlo Hampton finally received her peach after years of fans asking Bravo to make her a full-time cast member.

(l-r): Sheree Whitfield, Drew Sidora, Kenya Moore, Marlo Hampton, Kandi Burruss, and Sanya Richards-Ross for 'RHOA' Season 14
Source: Bravo
Article continues below advertisement

Since Drew, Sanya, and Marlo joined RHOA, they haven’t brought in the fans Bravo hoped for. Despite Drew and Sanya succeeding outside the show, Drew’s dramatic antics and Sanya’s lack of intriguing storylines make them less exciting to watch. However, I am personally invested in seeing what transpired between Drew and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Ralph Pittman, whom she filed for divorce amid claims of infidelity.

Sanya, however, would benefit from leaving the show. During many of her Season 15 scenes, it’s clear that the Olympian doesn’t enjoy conflict. However, Sanya tries incredibly hard to involve herself in drama to save her peach, which never works well in the Real Housewives universe.

Article continues below advertisement
(l-r): Sanya, Drew, and Marlo arguing at the RHOA reunion Season 14
Source: Bravo

Some demotions and new “friends” would be great, too.

Marlo should also hang up her peach and return to a “friend” role. In the last two years of her being a full-time housewife, Marlo has made me like her less and less. First, her decision to kick her nephews out of her house after taking them in from foster care never sat well with me.

Then, in Season 15, she made me want to take the peach out of her hand when she tried to make Kandi look like a bad friend when Marlo’s nephew died in 2020. According to Marlo, Kandi never sent her flowers when her nephew died, even though he worked at Kandi’s restaurant, Old Lady Gang.

Article continues below advertisement

The entire storyline was a dark and unnecessary way to make Kandi, the longest-running housewife, look bad. I think Marlo is best suited to being the “fun, shady” friend of the group and should be joined by LaToya Ali.

Article continues below advertisement

If you recall, LaToya was a “friend of” RHOA for one season and caused plenty of chaos during her first year with the group. After LaToya claimed that she and Drew kissed at the Season 13 reunion at Cynthia Bailey’s bachelorette party, Drew denied kissing her in Season 15.

She also accused Kandi of orchestrating the rumor, though Kandi has said on her YouTube show, Speak On It, that she saw LaToya and Drew kiss with her own eyes.

Even two seasons after she left the show, rumors of her kissing Drew became a Season 15 storyline.

Article continues below advertisement

We must also see fresh, authentic storylines if Bravo wants to save ‘RHOA.’

I am appalled by RHOA’s decision to discuss not one but TWO dramatic moments that happened years before Season 15. The first was with Marlo’s nephew, which Marlo said on the show was only mentioned because a shooting at Kandi’s restaurant, Blaze, “triggered” her. While we can all understand triggers, the storyline didn’t need to be a part of the season for one episode, let alone several.

Article continues below advertisement

Then there’s Drew or LaToya’s tired drama. Whether either of them is telling the truth isn’t my problem. It’s none of ours, honestly. The party happened so long ago that Cynthia and the man she was having the bachelorette party for — Mike Hill — aren’t even together anymore.

Article continues below advertisement

And even if they were, are these women so unengaged in each other’s lives that they have nothing new to argue about? If so, it’s time to bring some new life to this show so we can go back to drama happening with the ladies in real-time.

As much as I think RHOA needs to change, I haven’t stopped watching and probably never will. However, I don’t want such an iconic show to vanish due to bad ratings. I truly believe small changes can be made to make it appointment television again, and I want Bravo to do better in Season 16.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs new episodes Sundays at 8 pm EST on Bravo and streaming on Peacock.

More from Distractify

Latest The Real Housewives of Atlanta News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2023 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.