Responsible for bringing unlimited drama and entertainment into our homes, Bravo’s ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ or ‘RHOBH,’ which started airing in 2010, is one of the most thrilling reality TV franchises of ‘Real Housewives.’ Creators Scott Dunlop, Alex Baskin, and Kathleen French make sure to document all aspects of the lives of these housewives, whose many quirks, catfights, and discussions about how they like to spend money keep us glued to our screens. Aside from the random debates about petty issues, there are instances of betrayal, rumors of affairs, and plenty of concern about legal issues some participants might be involved with.
With fans following all aspects of the celebrity’s life on social media, too, it gets tough to separate the controversies of their personal lives from their personalities on the shows, when everything is out there in the limelight. How they react, and the dramatic turns some moments take, make us wonder how authentic the reality show is. If someone is facing an issue, do they show their real emotions or are guided about what to say?
RHOBH: How Much of the Bravo Show Is Scripted?
‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ is not scripted entirely. While the cast and crew members over the years have maintained the show is not scripted, there are plenty of moments we see on our screens that are apparently not rooted in reality. For instance, a Reddit user claiming to be a reality TV producer revealed on a Reddit thread that one story producer is assigned to each housewife from the beginning, who is responsible for developing her storyline on the show. According to one of the producers, while they are not given dialogues, there’s a sort of a show Bible that lists out backstories of all the housewives and how their stories are about to unravel, which doesn’t necessarily have to be followed at all times.
According to the thread, the producers are also responsible for their housewives, so they have to make sure they stick around to follow their stories, and if they hear rumors and find out some facts beforehand, they are at liberty to share it with the celebrity to build that narrative. Having said that, what they eventually say is entirely up to them, especially in the heat of the moment. There have also been doubts about how real the phone conversations are and the use of the term “Bravo” by housewives, which is believed to be an indication that the producers might want to cut out that part. The executive producer of the series, Andy Cohen, has clarified that this seems to be a rumor since, irrespective of who says “Bravo,” that storyline is still considered despite the edits.
Cohen also explains that the housewives are chosen based on their personalities and their ability to engage since it becomes clear watching the housewives on the show that they are truly what they speak about. Despite this, the show uses confessionals recorded after the episodes so the housewives can explain their side of the story, but some fans feel these confessionals look scripted, too. While they are supposed to be genuine, and there is no hard evidence to disprove it, fans feel the confessionals of particular housewives in ‘RHOBH’ like Kyle Richards, Dorit Kemsley, and Erika Jayne don’t seem to be particularly true and that their statements might be influenced by someone else.
As for the real elements of the show, there are plenty of them, since most of the cast members claim that the show isn’t scripted. For instance, Kyle insisted in an interview with the LA Times that there was no acting involved in the show, and she could just be herself. Similarly, Denise Richards also expressed her surprise in ‘Watch What Happens Live’ that the show is real and none of it is scripted. Erika also insisted that the show is not scripted at all and is actually a lot of fun. She feels the good outweighs the small parts of it that are uncomfortable because she gets to be around amazing people.
The show also doesn’t shy away from depicting the real lives of the housewives since it thrives on drama. For instance, even if Denise had sent cease and desist letters to dismiss the rumors of her affair with Brandi Glanville, the show carried it anyway. The show has also shown the drama around Erika’s divorce amid fraud and embezzlement charges against her husband and how she has probably sought legal counsel to tweak her words. Evidently, while efforts are being made to certainly give the show’s narrative a direction, it seems that most of the show is not scripted, and the celebrities are at liberty to say whatever comes to their mind.