Since Russell Armstrong, cast member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, was found dead of suicide earlier this week, the fate of the show has been in doubt. The dissolution of Armstrong’s marriage as said to be a central plot point of the upcoming season. To what extent are Bravo executives willing to exploit his death for profit?
That remains to be seen. Today the network announced that the second season will air, but with unspecified changes. Bravo president Frances Berwick told Variety, “Contrary to what is being reported, we have not made a decision to change our original premiere date but we are in the process of re-editing the show.”
Will the edit will mean less of Russell Armstrong, or more? The network declined to give any details. The lurid public interest in Armstrong’s suicide will certainly draw viewers. Just how far Bravo is willing to push the boundaries of taste for ratings, and how much the public will tolerate, may well set standards for reality television in the future.