So much for that delay.
After scrambling to reedit The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills following the sudden suicide of Russell Armstrong, Bravo today officially confirmed the second season would premiere as scheduled on Sept. 5.
But the reality series has taken a dramatic turn from the Housewives' usual backstabbing hijinks.
As we previously reported, the returning stars Lisa Vanderpump, Camillle Grammer, Kyle and Kim Richards and Adrienne Maloof minus Russell's estranged wife, Taylor Armstrong, spent Monday recording their reactions to Russell's death two weeks ago that will be incorporated into the first episode.
"Bravo will proceed with the Monday, Sept. 5 premiere date of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," says Francis Berwick, president of Bravo Media. "Given that these episodes were filmed months ago, the producers of the show taped a brief interview this week with several of the cast members to introduce the premiere. Reediting of the episodes is still underway."
The decision comes after The Hollywood Reporter claimed that the premiere would be pushed back a week or more—a report network reps said was dubious from the get-go.
Bravo is also trying to raise awareness about suicide prevention, partnering with the Entertainment Industries Council. During this season's episodes, various public service announcements will air, and BravoTV.com will also include information and services on the topic.
The network had come under fire from some members of Russell's family, who tossed around legal threats and accusations that Bravo and the show could somehow be at fault for his suicide.
Says Berwick, "Our thoughts continue to be with the Armstrong family during this difficult time."