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Foxtel Expanding Australia's Real Housewives Franchise To Gold Coast Or Sydney?!

Could a second Australian city be set to get its own version of The Real Housewives reality TV format? According to News Corp Australia, sources state that makers of the Foxtel series have quietly scoped out both Sydney and the Gold Coast as settings for a potential spin-off.

Filming on the second season of The Real Housewives of Melbourne only recently commenced, but it’s understood there is a long-term view to expand the franchise. While that exploration is preliminary at best for now, it suggests producers Matchbox are keen to take the formula to a second setting.

Executive producer Kylie Washington was coy when pressed on the topic, but said she believed there was solid potential for another version.

“I think we can handle another,” Washington said. “It will never be like the States where there are several different franchises running. It’s not sustainable and you don’t want to flood the market. But I think there’s scope to take it (elsewhere).”

As for whether serious moves were under way at the moment, Washington wouldn’t say definitively.

“We’d love to do a Housewives everywhere. This show has obviously piqued people’s interest because this is something that hasn’t been explored that much. The voyeuristic side of all of us has been delighted.”
The Real Housewives of Melbourne chronicles the colourful and dramatic lives of seven socialites who wine, dine and brawl their way around the city’s social set.

The cast includes Gina Liano, Janet Roach, Lydia Schiavello, Jackie Gillies, Chyka Keebaugh and newcomers Gamble Breaux and Pettifleur Berenger.

Washington said the choice to base the first Australian version of Housewives in Melbourne was essentially set in stone early on.

“There was always a preference for Melbourne because it’s unexpected. We were keen to see if Melbourne could do it. There was a lot of scepticism.

“To be honest, we didn’t know either. We spent seven months casting to find those women we thought could make a group that would work. You’d think Sydney or the Gold Coast first of all. That’s not to say a great series couldn’t be done out of those places, but Melbourne had a different flavour. It’s the dark espresso over the champagne cocktail.”

A veteran of the reality format, Washington said Housewives is one of the most challenging projects she has ever undertaken.

“I’ve worked on the Amazing Race where you cart tonnes of gear around the world and heaps of people, it’s a logistically nightmare, and I’d say seven housewives are more challenging. When you’re dealing with seven women who are really headstrong, who you’ve gone out specifically looking for, and put them on a TV show … you can imagine the sparks off screen.”

Working with the women was “tumultuous and exhausting” at times, she said, given the big personalities and “how much is at stake” for the cast.

“It’s like a dysfunctional family. Some days it’s like a really lovely family dinner, then other days it’s like you’re in family court in the midst of a malicious divorce.”

Washington promises more captivating drama when the second season of the show hits screens on Foxtel’s Arena channel early next year.

Which city do you think would be better for Australia's Real Housewives franchise? Sydney or Gold Coast? Tell us in the comment section below.

Photo Credit: Foxtel/Bravo