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Will Real Housewives of New York Lose Viewers With Kelly Bensimon's Return?

I don’t think Bravo executives ever heard of “too much of a good thing.” Or in this case, “bad thing” since we’re discussing that Kelly Bensimon will return for another season of the Real Housewives of New York City. Sure, Kelly Bensimon was good for some jelly bean jokes and “satchels of gold” head-scratching moments and the most dysfunctional vacation St. John has ever seen, but do we want to see more? I’ll answer for all of us: “Hell, no!” More than anything, watching her is uncomfortable. I understand why Bravo asked her back — they probably partially attribute her looniness to ratings gold (not to be confused with satchels of gold). However, I have a prediction: having Bensimon back without her nemesis Bethenny Frankel will backfire, resulting in lower ratings.

Wasn’t part of the intrigue surrounding Bensimon’s mental disorder watching her spar (unsuccessfully) with Frankel (is she a chef or just a cook?) while witnessing a mixture of horror, astonishment, disbelief and every once in a while amusement, on Frankel’s face?  Without Frankel to needle nonsensically, what will be Bensimons’ role — to kiss Jill Zarin’s butt? Nobody wants to see that, literally or figuratively. Let me put this in a “jumped the shark” context using Happy Days as an example since the phrase started with that show. At the risk of showing my age, does anyone remember tough-talking Pinky Tuscadero? They introduced her as Fonzie’s girlfriend and she lasted only part of one season. You know why? People didn’t like her. Sure, it was interesting to see Fonzie with a girlfriend but when she left we were all happy, right? Pinky Tuscadero is to Happy Days as Kelly Bensimon is to the Real Housewives of New York City. Unfortunately, ABC back in the 1970s was more insightful than NBC Universal / Bravo TV is in 2010. (Maybe Bensimon has a little sister like Leather Tuscadero who can replace her?)

Time will tell but I bet casting Bensimon again will prove the wrong decision. In the meantime, as Bensimon would say via Twitter, “wear love!”

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