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The Real Housewives of New Jersey (abbreviated RHONJ) is an American reality television series that premiered on May 12, 2009, on Bravo. Developed as the fourth installment of The Real Housewives franchise, following The Real Housewives of Orange County, New York City and Atlanta, it had aired seven seasons and focuses on the personal and professional lives of several women residing in New Jersey.

The series originally focused on Teresa Giudice, Jacqueline Laurita, Caroline Manzo, Dina Manzo and Danielle Staub. The current line-up consists of Giudice, Melissa Gorga, Dolores Catania and Siggy Flicker. Of the original housewives, Dina Manzo stopped filming during production of the second season before returning for the sixth and departing again afterward; Staub left after the second season; Caroline Manzo left after the fifth; and Laurita was a friend of the housewives during the sixth, before returning to a starring role in the seventh and departing again afterward. The remaining housewives joined in later seasons, Gorga in the third and Catania and Flicker in the seventh. Past housewives include Kathy Wakile (Season 3-5), Teresa Aprea (Season 6), Amber Marchese (Season 6) and Nicole Napolitano (Season 6).

Overview and Casting

The Real Housewives of New Jersey was first announced when Bravo released its 2008-2009 programming on April 15, 2008. It was later announced that the series would debut on May 12, 2009, with Caroline Manzo, Jacqueline Laurita, Teresa Giudice, Dina Manzo and Danielle Staub as the cast. For the first time in the franchise, the series followed housewives who arerelated to one another, sisters Caroline and Dina are married to brothers Albert and Tommy Manzo, and Jacqueline Laurita is married to Caroline and Dina's brother, Chris Laurita. Dina and Tommy Manzo would later end up separated.

With the first season averaging 2.55 million total viewers, Bravo announced the renewal of the second season on October 6, 2009. Season 2 premiered on May 3, 2010, with Dina Manzo departing the series after the seventh episode. Part 1 of the second season reunion garnered 3.9 million viewers, making it the highest-rated episode of the season, at the time, of its airing and the second highest rated episode of the franchise after the January 30, 2011, episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

The third season renewal was announced on August 31, 2010. It was later revealed on September 7, 2010 that Danielle Staub would not be returning to the show. Season 3 premiered on May 16, 2011 as a 90-minute episode, as well as introduced new housewives Melissa Gorga and Kathy Wakile. The third season delivered the highest rated season premiere in the network's history and the highest rated season premiere in The Real Housewives franchise but was later surpassed by The Real Housewives of Atlanta. After season 3, The Real Housewives of New Jersey was the only The Real Housewives series within the franchise that featured a main cast who were all married, until The Real Housewives of Miami also met the criterion starting with its third season. Season 4 was announced on June 7, 2011, with the fourth season premiering on April 22, 2012. All of the Season 3 housewives returned in Season 4.

Bravo announced that Season 5 would premiere June 2, 2013, with same cast returning. Kim DePaola and Jennifer Dalton joined the fifth season as "Friends of the Housewives". Despite not being credited as an official cast member, Victoria Gotti made a guest appearance as a friend to Giudice and Penny Drossos made numerous guest appearances. The fifth season reunion was filmed on September 4, 2013, and took 15 hours to complete.

On October 13, 2013, Caroline Manzo announced that she would not be returning for Season 6. Jacqueline Laurita also departed the series. In April 2014, Bravo announced that the sixth season would premiere in mid-2014. On May 14, 2014, Bravo announced that The Real Housewives of New Jersey would return for its sixth season on July 13, 2014. It was confirmed that Dina Manzo would return, with new additions Amber Marchese and twins, Teresa Aprea and Nicole Napolitano joining as main housewives. Kathy Wakile was demoted to a recurring role and made numerous appearances during the season, as well as took part in a reunion show. Former housewife Laurita appeared in multiple episodes as well, also in a recurring capacity. Gotti also returned in a guest capacity, making multiple guest appearances throughout the season. On November 11, 2015, Marchese announced that she would be departing from the franchise.

In February 2016, the series was renewed for a seventh season, confirming the return of Giudice, Gorga and Laurita. Dina Manzo announced that she would not be returning for the seventh season, due to her relocation to California. Dolores Catania and Siggy Flicker were confirmed as new cast members, with Wakile and Pierri appearing in a supporting capacity. Season seven also featured guest appearances from former recurring cast member Kim De Paola and former full-time cast members Aprea and Napolitano. Robyn Levy also made guest appearances throughout the season, alongside her partner Christina Flores.

In April 2017, the series was renewed for its eighth season. That same month, Laurita confirmed her departure from the series. Talking exclusively to Entertainment Tonight, she stated, "Unfortunately, I will not be returning, I think the feeling from the network is that I no longer have an authentic connection with two of the season's cast members." Laurita further confirmed she was offered a part-time position on the series, with the potential of turning full-time, should her connection with the other housewives work out. Laurita said she declined the offer because "to not have a confirmed full-time decision, with that feeling that I had to kind of try-out again, it just didn't feel right."

Timeline of Housewives

Housewives Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Teresa Giudice Main
Jacqueline Laurita Main Friend Main
Caroline Manzo Main
Dina Manzo Main Guest Main
Danielle Staub Main
Melissa Gorga Guest Main
Kathy Wakile Guest Main Friend
Teresa Aprea Main Guest
Nicole Napolitano Main Guest
Amber Marchese Main
Dolores Catania Guest Guest Main
Siggy Flicker Main
Friends of the Housewives
Kim Granatell Friend
Kim DePaola Guest Friend Guest
Jennifer Dalton Friend
Rosie Pierri Guest Friend
Penny Drossos Guest
Victoria Gotti Guest
Robyn Levy Guest

Episodes

See Also: List of RHONJ Episodes

Season Episodes Originally Aired
First Aired Last Aired
1 10 May 12, 2009 July 9, 2009
2 18 May 3, 2010 September 6, 2010
3 21 May 16, 2011 October 23, 2011
4 24 April 22, 2012 October 21, 2012
5 22 June 2, 2013 October 20, 2013
6 19 July 13, 2014 November 20, 2014
7 18 July 10, 2016 November 13, 2016

Spin-offs

The series' success has resulted in a development of multiple spin-off series. Caroline Manzo's children Albie and Christopher had a web series spin-off alongside their roommate and friend Greg Bennett, Boys to Manzo which premiered on May 30, 2011. Caroline Manzo, who was part of the original cast of the show, quit the series before its sixth season. Manzo later disclosed that she was involved in the production of a new show, Manzo'd with Children; the show was eventually picked up and premiered on October 5, 2014. The reality series follows the daily life of Manzo and her family, husband Albert, sons Albie and Christopher, daughter Lauren and sister Fran. The show was subsequently returned for a second season, which premiered on August 16, 2015. In April 2016, the series was renewed for a third season. In February 2017, it was announced the series would not return for a fourth season.

The second spin-off, entitled Teresa Checks In, aired in October 2015. The three-episode television series chronicled the life of the Giudice family and how its members dealt with the aftermath of Teresa Giudice's being sentenced to prison. The series featured some of the cast members of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, including Melissa Gorga, Joe Gorga and Rosie Pierri.

In December 2014, it was announced Giudice's daughter Gia, was in production on a pilot revolving around her attempting to launch a singing career, with her group 3KT.

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