According to TMZ, the Housewives may be put on ice until Teresa gets out of prison early 2016. They consider her presence vital to the success of the show. Producers are holding meetings and are “strongly leaning” towards putting everything on hold for a year. In spite of having the rest of the cast at their disposal.
Previously, producers considered firing Teresa rather than waiting for her to get out of jail. At the time, a source said “After all of the options were considered, Bravo did approach Teresa about filming prior to her heading off to prison with the intent of working her into the new season… However, she was insisting she wanted an astronomical paycheck. Much to her surprise, they turned her down.”
Producers tried to rework the show, “Production [held] focus groups about moving forward without Teresa… They [were] trying to determine what the public perception was of the new cast and if any casting changes need to be made in regards to the new additions last season.”
However, it looks as though she will be released within 13 months rather than the 15 she was sentenced to. So producers apparently consider it prudent to be patient and wait on Teresa’s release. Since she’s currently its biggest star and producers are worried rankings would tank without her.
The show has been struggling, with a revolving door of characters including old cast members being brought back to try to boost ratings and stir up drama. So far, it’s been met with a tepid response. Looks like if Teresa gets out and films the show again, however, ratings may finally recover.