- Real Housewives of Beverly Hills -Do We Even Want Denise Richards To Come Back For Another Season?
After two seasons, 44 episodes, countless dick jokes, and a ten second staring contest with Lisa Rinna, Denise Richards, and plenty of fans, may have zero patience left for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Update: On Wednesday evening, a representative for the actor and reality star confirmed to Variety that Denise was not coming back next season. (The Dipp reached out to Denise's camp for confirmation, but did not hear back.)
Earlier: Ever since the Daily Mail first reported the news that Denise and Brandi Glanville allegedly had an affair (Denise vehemently denies the affair and Brandi isn't shy about it), viewers have been waiting since January to see how it would all play out in Season 10. As the season progressed, the tension between the women built, our expectations for a blowout rose, and then suddenly, everything rested on the season finale party at Dorit Kemsley’s house.
The party, like almost every other finale episode of the franchise, is typically where all of the women would come together, squash or fuel their feuds, and freeze-frame into the sunset.
But when Denise didn’t show up to Dorit's get-together due to an unforeseen “family emergency” (which she later admitted on the show was a lie) her exit from the series, which has been pretty much teased since the pre-season, didn’t feel far off. So, is she really leaving? Is that a wrap on Ms. Richards?
Put on your weird, bedazzled rainboots and take a sip of your Casamigos Reposado (not Blanco, god) — we gotta truck through some mud to get to the bottom of this unanswerable mess.
What Bravo And Denise Are Saying About Denise’s Return Next Season
So far, there's been no straight answer, but there have been some hints and murmurs.
Radar Online (are Lisa Vanderpump's ears burning?) reported that Denise signed a four year contract with the network, which would mean she's expected to film Season 11, and Heavy.com reported that Dorit said on The Morning Toast podcast on Aug. 26 that she thinks Denise will be a part of next season. "I don't know why she wouldn't," Dorit said.
But wait there's more. Back in late July, Andy Cohen appeared on The View and said “[I] haven’t made any decisions about next season of [RHOBH] but I hope Denise will be back." And in April, Denise told HollywoodLife that she had not quit the show. She told the publication: “No one knows who’s going to be back next season. They have to ask us to come back. I never said I quit the show. And Bravo knows that!”
But April was a long time ago. Even July seems like forever ago at this point. If something has changed since then and Denise is stripped of her diamond, or you know, has chosen or will choose to walk away from a toxic situation, there is someone there to pick up the jewel: Brandi Glanville.
Brandi tweeted that she hasn’t had any official conversations about re-joining the cast full-time, but did manage to beautifully insinuate that she’s always asked back to be a guest … sooo…
A big shakeup is nothing new in the Bravoverse. Beverly Hills’ drunker east coast counterpart RHONY has undergone some casting changes this year: Dorinda Medley isn’t returning next season, and Tinsley Mortimer left mid-season. A casting change on RHOBH wouldn't be unheard of, in the least.
But enough about what the cast is saying about Denise's possible exit... what do the fans want?
Denise, Please Return!
The day after the finale, Bravo fan account Christian Gray Snow on Instagram claimed that Denise’s final scenes with Beverly Hills pariah Camille Grammer and frenemy Rinna were that of a Hail Mary. (The Dipp reached out to Bravo for comment about this report, but did not hear back.)
During Denise's conversation with Rinna, Rinna "goes there" and addresses the elephant in the room: the cease and desist letters Denise sent producers and cast members.
Viewers uncomfortably (but let’s be honest, also gleefully) sat through dialogue so iconic and so dramatic, it's sure to be printed on papyrus and hung on the wall at Bravocon one day:
Rinna: "So you sent a cease and desist? You wanted the footage taken out."
Denise: "Who told you that? Who told you that?"
Rinna: "Oh, you're so angry. Denise, you are angry."
Denise: "No, you are playing dirty. This is slanderous. If something was slanderous about you, wouldn't you send a cease and desist?"
Rinna: "I don't know. I have shown up and I have dealt with the people that I've needed to deal with."
Denise: "And I have too."
Given that performance, it’s hard not to want, or expect, Denise to be back. Snow originally assumed Denise wouldn’t return for Season 11, but has since changed his mind. “I simply can’t see her walking away without trying one more time,” he tells The Dipp. Because yes, we need more scenes like this one!
Kaya and Aaron, who host the Bravo While Black podcast, also hope that Denise will return to the show... but they’d like to see her take a page out of Vanderpump’s book and come back with poster-sized printouts of her texts with Brandi. (This, of course, is an excellent idea.)
Kaya also wants to see Denise “play just as dirty” as Teddi Mellencamp and Kyle Richards, only with Garcelle Beauvais by her side. TBD on whether or not Garcelle is Team Denise at this point, but in early August, she did tell EW Live on Sirius XM that she and Denise had a pact: neither would return to the show if the other didn't.
And another super-fan is Team Denise: Gabrielle Gonzales, who creates original Bravo memes at Bravo Rabbit Hole, doesn’t think Denise will come back but is hoping she’s wrong. “I need to hear more about her strip club steaks and big pharma… she can’t leave us hanging like that!”
Denise, Please Don’t Return!
For some, like the women behind Comments By Bravo, it’s less about if Denise returns and more about how she returns. Emma Diamond, co-founder of the account, thinks that if Denise makes a comeback in Season 11, it wouldn’t be unfiltered, and worse, it wouldn’t be as entertaining.
“Obviously this is a show and the production elements come into play, but her perspective has seemingly become so unnatural. Almost calculated,” Diamond says. “I just can’t envision a world in which she lets her guard down or doesn’t feel constantly on the defensive. This season was transformative for her trust-wise, in a negative way. It’s sad — she is so much fun to watch.”
Gonzales holds some hope, though. “I wouldn’t put it past her to arrive in her Doc Martens with a huge grin on her face.”
The real looming question, I suppose, isn’t whether or not Denise will return for another season; it’s whether or not that devilish half-smile means she’ll come in peace, or has some receipts in the back pocket of her bootcut jeans.
Only about 270 days, and one billion Brandi Glanville tweets, until that Season 11 premiere.
Feature Image: Instagram