The fifth Real Housewives franchise premiered on Aug. 5, 2010, but the entire season was overshadowed by Michaele Salahi and her then-husband Tareq Salahi's breaching security at President Obama's first state dinner. "What started as a single show about five rich women in California exploded into one of the biggest reality TV franchises of our generation," says Jennifer Perry. "In some ways, the Real Housewives recipe is simple: affluent older women, cordial but sometimes fractured friendships, and cast members who technically don’t even need a husband. But in Housewives’ 14-year history, the model has been tweaked ever so slightly, with varying degrees of success. You could say this was the case with the fifth franchise in the series, The Real Housewives of D.C. Premiering the summer of 2010, the series didn’t bring the vapid cattiness of The Real Housewives of Orange County or the table-flipping tension of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. It was political—dare I say earnest—and measurably less glitzy than its successor The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." ALSO: Real Housewives of D.C. is a revealing time capsule of race and politics.
TOPICS: The Real Housewives of D.C., Bravo, The Real Housewives Franchise, Reality TV, Retro TV