Speaking of the Real Housewives of DC … nothing has been heard about RHODC returning for Season Two. In the interim, it looks like Rob Lowe sees the potential for a ‘semi-scripted’ reality show based in Washington DC. Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger, the duo from ‘The Washington Post’ that keeps tabs on the Salamis, wrote earlier this week about how Washingtonians have quickly changed their opinions about associating with reality shows… from not taking phone calls from reality show producers to now eagerly cooperating to star in the next reality production:
“Back in the day – say, 2009 – most of Bigshot Washington would have sooner posted naked keg stand photos on Facebook than get within a mile of a reality-TV camera.
Lobbyists and pols rebuffed recruiters for “The Real Housewives of D.C.” Party hosts turned away the crews of “Blonde Charity Mafia.” Producers trying to sign sexy young Hill staffers for pilots about The Real Washington (or whatever) discovered that in this town, nobody wants to embarrass (or upstage) the boss.
So how to account for what happened Thursday night? A new reality show threw one of those made-for-TV parties where half the guests are miked up and the cameras are all up in your face poised for the next gaffe – and yet some uber-serious Washingtonians showed up. Willingly.
Rob Lowe and CNN’s Jessica Yellin at ‘Potomac Fever’ party.
In the mix at the Meridian House cocktail soiree for “Potomac Fever“: New National Economic Council director Gene Sperling, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), Bush speechwriters-turned-pundits Michael Gerson and David Frum, former RNC chair and White House counselor Ed Gillespie, TV reporters Jake Tapper, Ed Henry and Jessica Yellin.
Also, Rob Lowe. Did we mention that he’s the show’s producer? The tanned and bright-eyed former Brat Packer worked the room as cameras rolled – focusing not on him but on six young D.C. strivers who are to make up the tentative cast of the show, now in development for E!
They are: Hill staffer and Wizards cheerleader Kristie Muchnok; aspiring broadcaster Margaret Howell; 94.7 FM deejay Tommy McFly; WUSA-9 anchor Angie Goff; former Log Cabin Republican spokesman Charles Moran; and college student Miranda Frum – yes, the daughter of David and his writer wife, Danielle Crittenden.
Lowe held forth on the difference between show-biz journalists and political journalists (apparently, the latter are much scarier), indulged the “West Wing” nostalgia of guests and talked a good talk about what this reality show – we think he called it a “non-scripted docudrama”(?) – aims to do.
“There is a cost for both trying to change the world and living the status quo,” he said in an e-mail later. “We are trying to find and tell these stories in a broad audience way.”
Obviously, attitudes about reality TV have changed for politicians a bit, after a year in which President Obama guested on “MythBusters” and the Palins starred on not one but two series. For most in the room, though, it’s clear the new comfort zone was created by the party’s hostess: Susanna Quinn, a native Washingtonian and the wife of mega-lobbyist Jack Quinn.
Susanna Quinn (left)… with friends (?)
A vivacious blonde whom many reality producers have attempted to cast over the years (and, disclosure, a pal of ours), she was signed by Lowe and local production company 44 Blue as a consultant and associate producer to help find a cast and get the vibe right. How’d she get such a high-tone crowd to turn out for a show from the network that brought us the Kardashians? She insisted that this show is different: “This isn’t about catfights or flipping tables,” she told us. “They want to maintain the authenticity of Washington.” Hmmm, we’ve heard that before, but okay. Ultimately, it seems that getting a good lineup came down to calling pals and asking really really nicely.”
NOTE: There has long been interest in producing a Washington DC-based reality show and Bravo opened the door with the Real Housewives of DC. Washington DC residents are now more comfortable with the idea of becoming involved with the next reality show shooting in the nation’s capitol. IMO, Bravo seems so ambivilent about the DC franchise that they probably just forgot to inform their PR department to put out a statement saying that the RHODC has been cancelled. Bravo could have tweaked the DC cast and maybe found some Housewives in DC that were more ‘housewifey’… in the Bravo sense of the word. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if RHODC did not come back for its second season; Bravo has been shooting the Real Housewives of Miami and I think that will more than fill the void left by the demise of the Real Housewives of DC. A much bigger clue that RHODC has seen its last goat rodeo is this: most of the RHODC cast member’s facebook and twitter pages have been quiet since September… well, except for Stacie.