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Posts Tagged ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’

Did Bravo Mishandle Last Night’s ‘Real Housewives’ Premiere?

Photo: Bravo/NBC

Reality has interfered with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. While my cable is unfortunately on the fritz despite two appointments in three days from Time Warner, reporters on the TV beat watched the season premiere of the show to see how it would handle the recent suicide of Russell Armstrong, a cast member’s husband.

Bravo had already announced that the show would continue with certain edits, a new segment featuring a conversation with the cast (all except for Taylor, Russell’s estranged wife) had been added to the premiere, and a suicide prevention PSA was planned. But even with these tweaks, the tragic realness of Armstrong’s death is making the usual tawdry drama of the show hard to swallow. Media reporters are, for the most part, not responding well.

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‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ to Premiere with Suicide Prevention PSAs

Ever since news broke that Russell Armstrong, husband to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong, committed suicide, there have been questions of whether the show would air as planned. (Definitely one of the least important questions being asked.)

That question has been answered by the president of Bravo, Frances Berwick, who issued a statement saying the network would air the season premiere on September 5 as scheduled and it would be accompanied by PSAs focused on suicide prevention. The show is being re-edited and footage of the Housewives is being shot to take into account the terrible news.

Besides the logistical questions, the news has raised ethical questions about the affect that reality TV has on its stars. NPR has a few suggestions about an ethical code for reality TV shows, including a proposed panel that would settle disputes over whether certain footage damages the reputation of someone appearing on a show.