As we saw for ourselves, Teresa Giudice and Melissa Gorga cut ties at the RHONJ Reunion this year.
The fight paid off for the network. Watching a feud splinter a family drew in millions of viewers.
But reports said that Season 14 was on hold … because Teresa and Melissa were too bitter to film together. Would one or both of them get the axe for the show to live?
Now, we have our answer.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey does not air in real time. The Housewives film months in advance. It’s often well over half a year between an episode filming and airing.
Initially, the plan was for RHONJ Season 14 to begin filming pretty much as soon as the Season 13 Reunion aired. Which, in turn, was months after it filmed.
But instead, Bravo had to reportedly put those plans on hold. The entire cast sat in limbo … seemingly because of one dispute.
Sometimes, any kind of TV show has to take a pause in production.
A “long” hiatus is relative. Taking a few months off between seasons isn’t unusual. Taking years off in between is actually standard in some countries (and, weirdly, on some streaming platforms).
But sooner or later, filming must resume or the show will not survive. So why did Season 14 drag its heels for so long?
Because Teresa Giudice and Melissa Gorga were so bitterly at odds that it made filming impractical.
Consider this: you take two rich, slightly unhinged women who dislike each other and put them at the same absurd rich people party.
They clash, they yell, they throw drinks. It’s a spectacle and you film it for money. Success!
Now consider: you take two rich, slightly unhinged women who hate each other.
They refuse to attend the same party. If they’re not looking at each other, they’re not glaring daggers at each other.
And if they’re not speaking to each other, then they’re not screaming at each other’s faces. If they’re not making a scene, then the show has no scenes.
So yes, there truly is such a thing as too much drama. Even for reality television. And even for Real Housewives.
Speculation was that Bravo might eventually fire one of them. Perhaps that was even the intention behind their distance.
Teresa didn’t just want to see Melissa fired. She resented her sister-in-law for joining the show in the first place.
However, this week, People reported that Bravo has not fired either of the feuding sisters-in-law.
The network has extended offers to both Teresa and Melissa to return.
They are not alone. The rest of their Season 13 castmates have also received similar invitations.
That includes newcomer Rachel Fuda.
And it also means that Danielle Cabral, Jackie Goldschneider, and Ozempic-infused Jennifer Fessler will return as Friends.
Basically, Season 13 had such dynamite ratings that Bravo is in no rush to mess with “perfection.” Relatively speaking.
That doesn’t mean that filming is going to begin immediately.
In fact, Bravo has extended offers — but reportedly not contracts. Not yet, anyway.
But the plan is that RHONJ Season 14 will begin principal photography in August. That is only a few weeks away.