Politics trump bling as "Real Housewives" move to D.C.

Wed Aug 4, 2010 9:05am EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Mary has Dick Cheney as a neighbor, Cat's husband is a White House photographer, and Michaele is the notorious White House gate-crasher.

Welcome to the "Real Housewives of D.C." -- the fifth and latest edition of the popular TV franchise that has become a guilty pleasure in the United States and around the world.

Four years after the tanned, nouveau riche ladies of southern California's Orange County made their TV debut in "Real Housewives of Orange County," the reality series moves to the U.S. capital on Thursday, where status is determined not by money and mansions but by proximity to political power.

"After Barack Obama was elected president, Washington became a city where there was a lot of new energy," said Andy Cohen, senior vice president of original programing at cable channel Bravo.

"This show has a different vibe. The housewives are fighting about politics. That's a new discourse. It's one of the things we hoped would come out of this series," Cohen told Reuters.

The first episode sees the "frenemies" clash over the merits of Obama versus former President George W. Bush, as well less obvious topics like the integration of hair salons for African-Americans and white Washingtonians.

But there is plenty of time for the kind of sniping and snooping seen from their counterparts on "Real Housewives" shows from New York, New Jersey, Atlanta and Orange County.

DISHING DIRT IN D.C.   Continued...

<p>The cast of the Bravo Network's reality series 'The Real Housewives of Washington D.C. From left are Catherine Ommanney, Stacie Scott Turner, Mary Schmidt Amons, Lynda Erkiletian and Michaele Salahi. REUTERS/Bravo Network/Handout</p>