Big changes are coming to The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.
According to a network insider, Bravo is reportedly looking to replace at least three of its Utah cast members.
One of the Housewives to be replaced is obviously Jen Shah, who was recently sentenced to more than six years in prison on wire fraud charges. Shah is set to start serving her sentence sometime early next month.
The four remaining cast members from the show’s last season – Meredith Marks, Heather Gay, Lisa Barlow, and Whitney Rose – are reportedly all safe.
As with other franchises, Bravo execs might choose to promote a “friend of” the current cast to full Housewife status – or to bring three completely new personalities into the SLC mix.
Network producers “held auditions in the fall,” one participant told Page Six, adding, “They were looking to replace three of them. They hadn’t decided if some of the ‘friends of’ would be promoted or if they’d find new talent.”
Casting changes coming to RHOSLC
The source told the outlet that cast changes were needed to offset the “dark” vibe of the show.
It’s true that the last few seasons of RHOSLC have taken an unexpectedly dark turn, from Jen Shah’s legal drama to Heather Gay’s black eye.
During a Season 3 cast trip to San Diego, Gay woke up one morning with painful-looking dark bruises circling one eye. Gay has continuously refused to explain how she got the injury, leading to no shortage of fan speculation.
Multiple offscreen friendships have also suffered as a result of the show. Cousins and former best friends Gay and Whitney Rose have had a major falling out; while Meredith Marks and Lisa Barlow, who were friends for decades, are also in a nasty feud.
Bravo seeking new SLC Housewives after ‘dark’ Season 2
But probably the darkest RHOSLC drama centered on Shah’s legal woes.
The reality star was arrested in March of 2021 – while Bravo’s cameras rolled. Shah has been accused of running a nationwide telemarketing scheme that defrauded hundreds of victims, many of them elderly.
Meanwhile, she continued to star on RHOSLC throughout the next two seasons, strenuously maintaining her innocence the whole time. Last summer, Shah switched her not-guilty plea to guilty just days before her trial was set to begin.
The Bravolebrity’s six and a half years in prison will begin next month.
So it’s understandable that the Bravo team would want to shake things up a bit.
“They’re trying to bring in new women to lighten it up,” the insider alleged.
The source added that Bravo producers are looking to hire someone “over-the-top” – just hopefully not too far over.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City airs on Wednesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.