The Real Housewives opening title sequences are the stuff of folklore—especially the superfluous taglines chosen each season. Not surprisingly, a Bravo producer says cast members get particular about these details, including who gets to be in the middle of the final shot.
Fact: You can never know too much about the most superficial elements of reality TV. As most of us logically assumed, the intro’s final shot of all the cast members is an edited composite. And cast members shoot multiple versions of themselves holding out the object that coincides with their respective franchise—“their city’s designated icon,” as E! Online puts it—in different directions. RHOC has the orange, RHOA has the peach, and RHOBH has diamonds for obvious reasons.
Doug Ross, an executive producer for RHOBH and RHOC who spearheads the shoot, told E! there’s a lot of “political maneuvering” involved in positioning the women. “They talk about it from the very beginning of the year, what their placement is going to be,” says Ross. “And, of course, everybody thinks that they deserve to be in the center and explains to me that they must be in the center and if they’re not in the center, they’re not going to come back next year.”
Since individual photo shoots happen at the beginning of filming, says Ross, the placements tend to be up in the air until everything wraps. “So we don’t know who really deserves to be in the center until towards the end of the year. It’s a highly political decision, of course, because everybody gets offended if they’re not,” he says. “But we work closely with the network at that point to figure out who was really sort of the center of the group interaction and then that person, generally, is the person who’s put in the center.”
Ross adds that one housewife in particular was so adamant about being in the center that “I had to trick that cast member into holding her thing in various positions so that we actually had the option to put her not in the center,” he says. “I’m sure you could imagine who it is, but I will never tell you.” Who could it be?