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Fresh Faces! ‘RHONY’ Execs To ‘Aim Younger’ After Bethenny Frankel's Exit

Pictured: (l-r) Dorinda Medley, Bethenny Frankel, Sonja Morgan, Luann de Lesseps, Tinsley Mortimer; Inset, Leah McSweeney.
Source: Heidi Gutman/Bravo

Aug. 23 2019, Published 9:23 p.m. ET

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Out with the old, in with the new!

Bethenny Frankel quitting The Real Housewives of New York City has thrown the show into chaos — but execs have a plan to keep the Bravo show a hit.

An insider dished exclusively to that producers are looking to “aim younger” with the new women they’re hoping to cast.

"They are testing out two younger potentials," the insider explained, confirming that fashion designer Leah McSweeney, 36, is one of the new stars.

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As previously reported, The OG of the Big Apple dropped the bombshell news that she was quitting the franchise, moving on to bigger and better projects after shooting to fame on the Bravo show.

“I have decided to leave the Housewives franchise to explore my next chapter,” Frankel said in a statement to Variety. “It’s time to move on and focus on my daughter, my philanthropy and my production partnership with Mark Burnett, producing and starring in shows which represent a shift in the conversation for women.”

Scroll through the gallery for the exclusive details about the scheme to “aim younger” with Bethenny’s replacements.

Fresh Faces

Bethenny Frankel attends Variety's Power of Women presented by Lifetime at Cipriani Midtown on April 5, 2019.
Source: Paul Zimmerman/Variety/Shutterstock

“They are testing out two younger potentials,” an insider dished to about show execs trying to find fresh faces for RHONY.

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Left High And Dry

Bethenny Frankel attends Febreze Super Bowl Ad Campaign Launch
Source: Mediapunch/Shutterstock

Execs were blindsided by Bethenny’s departure just as filming began for RHONY Season 12. “She backed out so late, they do not have a Plan B yet,” the source spilled to

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Vicki Gunvalson attends Jill Zarin's 6th Annual Luxury Luncheon at Topping Rose House on in Bridgehampton, NY.
Source: Scott Roth/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

The insider warned that the network was trying to attract younger viewers for the Housewives shows. “Look what happened to Vicki Gunvalson on The Real Housewives of Orange County, they wanted to get younger women on, so they demoted her," the source told

Bethenny Frankel
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Bethenny Frankel attends Variety's Power of Women presented by Lifetime at Cipriani Midtown.
Source: Stephen Lovekin/Variety/Shutterstock

Bethenny’s quitting put the show execs in a tailspin. “It’s not looking good,” the inside warned “Season 12 could be a train wreck.”

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New Girl

Leah McSweeney takes a selfie
Source: Courtesy of Leah McSweeney/Instagram

Leah McSweeney, 36, is the CEO of street wear line Married to the MOB, is a friend of Tinsley Mortimer’s and was brought in to do test filming with the ladies in the wake of Bethenny’s abrupt departure confirmed.

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Pictured: (l-r) Dorinda Medley, Bethenny Frankel, Sonja Morgan, Luann de Lesseps, Tinsley Mortimer
Source: Heidi Gutman/Bravo

With Ramona Singer at 62, Sonja Morgan at 55 and LuAnn de Lesseps at 54, the show execs wanted to bring younger women on the show to attract a more youthful demographic.

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Still Single?

Bethenny Frankel Launch Godiva Cafe
Source: MediaPunch/Shutterstock

Bethenny caused an uproar when she Tweeted: ““I had to go since I’m the only one that is actually married…that’s how crazy this ride is.” But her estranged husband Jason Hoppy’s attorney told that the two were still legally married. “I’m not newly married,’ Bethenny clarified on her Instagram Stories. “Believe me, when there is something to tell you, I will tell you.”



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