Bravo has decided to deal with the elephant in the room head-on.
After scrambling to reedit the upcoming second season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills following the shocking suicide of Russell Armstrong, and facing legal threats and accusations from a few members of his family that the network and the show could somehow be at fault for his suicide, the network is working on a special episode dealing with his death.
All but one of the principal castmembers were on hand for the taping Monday, per the Los Angeles Times. And it was no surprise who was missing in action.
Russell's estranged wife Taylor Armstrong was not asked to join fellow returning Housewives Lisa Vanderpump, Camillle Grammer, Kyle and Kim Richards and Adrienne Maloof.
Taylor has stayed away from the public eye since Russell hanged himself in his Mulholland Drive home on Aug. 15. His body was found more than a day later.
The women were not instructed as to how exactly the special would unfold, but reportedly the show was shot so they could react to his death on camera. No word on when the special will air.
Although there has been speculation the new season would be delayed, Bravo has insisted no such decision has been made and the premiere is still set to go Sept. 5.
UPDATE: Sources close to the production confirm to E! News that there was a taping involving the cast of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, minus Taylor Armstrong. However, the sources say the material was not specifically for a special episode, and plans are still being finalized as to when the footage will air.
(Originally published Aug. 30, 2011, at 7:22 a.m. PT)