In the wake of the shocking suicide of Russell Armstrong, one of the featured husbands on The Real Housewives of Beverly HIlls, a new report by The Hollywood Reporter claims that Bravo has decided to postpone the September 5 premiere of the upcoming second season of the show. Apparently, the fact that a castmember has died is enough to get Bravo to postpone … by at least one week. I understand that Bravo producers have decided not to film Armstrong‘s funeral so, yeah, Bravo is really doing all the right things here.
The network will push the Sept. 5 premiere at least one week and possibly longer following the apparent suicide of Russell Armstrong, according to a source close to the show. The cast and crew of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills have been told that the Sept. 5 season premiere will be pushed least one week and possibly longer in the wake of the apparent suicide of Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of cast member Taylor Armstrong. A source close to the show tells The Hollywood Reporter that executives from Bravo and producer Evolution Entertainment met with cast members Tuesday in Los Angeles to discuss the fate of the show. Some close to the production are encouraging the network to scrap the season altogether, especially considering some of the Armstrong-related storylines. “People are concerned about being associated with the show and his passing,” a source tells THR. But while re-editing of episodes is likely, the source says Bravo does not currently plan to cancel the season entirely. According to the source, the executives did say that the premiere date will be delayed beyond Sept 5. A Bravo spokesperson says that no decision on the premiere has been made. She declines to elaborate further.
Bravo will not have “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” cameras rolling when Russell Armstrong’s funeral takes place … TMZ has learned. Sources close to production tell us there’s some turmoil at the network — while everyone realizes Russell’s death will make the show more dramatic and watchable … they’re also nervous about pushing the envelope too far. We’re told Bravo doesn’t know how much Russell footage, if any, will air in the show’s second season — but the one thing everyone agrees on is not taping the funeral services. We’re also told the cast had a meeting yesterday — sans network execs — to console each other. Taylor Armstrong was not there.
Make no mistake … Bravo will NOT cancel the show. They’ve invested way too much money into the show AND, as morbid as it sounds, Armstrong‘s death may help ratings. It remains to be seen exactly how Bravo will treat Armstrong‘s death on the show but I suspect they will push the envelope about as far as they can to maximize the show’s full ratings potential. Will you be watching when The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills inevitably returns to the air?
UPDATE: Bravo TV has issued a statement announcing that the upcoming second season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills will be reedited due to Russell Armstrong‘s suicide:
In a statement to Variety, Bravo head Frances Berwick confirmed The Hollywood Reporter’s Thursday story saying that the network will re-edit the show in light of Russell Armstrong’s suicide. Berwick declined to say whether the show’s season premiere, set for Sept 5, will be pushed back, maintaining that no decisions has been made. THR reported Thursday that the cast and crew of the show has been told that the premiere date will be pushed by at least a week. Russell’s contentious relationship with his wife, Taylor, who filed for divorce in July, was a main plot point in the first season, and presumably was featured in the second.
It’ll be interesting to see how the editing will work. We’ll have to see if they plan to just cut out all footage of Russell or if they plan to not speak of him at all. So weird.