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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Party crashers headed to prime time

Remember the White House party crashers? Michaele and Tareq Salahi attended President Barack Obama's first state dinner in November -- uninvited -- and stirred up some bad press for cable network Bravo and its "Real Housewives." Bravo was filming Michaele Salahi for "The Real Housewives of D.C.," and the network said today it decided to go ahead with Salahi and four other members of the cast to premiere the latest installment of the "Housewives" franchise, premiering Aug. 5.

Michaele Salahi, left, is interviewed by Ariuka Ulziibayar at the America's Polo Cup Championships, which the Salahis hosted, by the National Mall in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

From Associated Press reporter David Bauder:
The network could either go ahead with the series or scrap the season altogether, Andy Cohen, the top programming executive, said Tuesday. There was no way at that stage to simply replace her, he said.
“It was a long, engaged process” to decide on going ahead, he said. “There were many, many serious conversations. I think when everyone sees the show they’ll agree it was the right thing.”
Cohen said Bravo was as surprised as the rest of the country to find out the morning after the dinner that the Salahis had gone somewhere uninvited; the gate-crashing was not encouraged or suggested by Bravo. Its production company had filmed them getting ready for the event.
He rejected the view that Bravo was rewarding Salahi for bad behavior.
A state dinner, particularly a new president’s first, could be considered the Super Bowl of power events in the political city. Much of “The Real Housewives of D.C.” series focuses on how influence in the city is derived as much from proximity to power as money, Bravo said.
The gate-crashing incident will be dealt with in the series toward the end of its run, Cohen said.
“It’s not the Salahi show,” he said. “She’s one of five women.”
Other “Real Housewives” joining Salahi are Mary Schmidt Amons, the granddaughter of TV personality Arthur Godfrey; Lynda Erkiletian, the founder of a modeling agency; Catherine Ommanney, a British import who’s an interior designer; and Stacie Scott Turner, a real estate agent who started a charity for teenage girls in foster care.

I don't have time to watch much TV, but "Real Housewives" is my guilty pleasure when I do. I like each of the locations (Orange County, New York City, Atlanta and New Jersey) for different reasons, and my favorite characters (because, let's face it, that's what they are) change with every episode. The shows and their stars are trashy and entertaining. I get a good laugh and feel better about myself for not being simple-minded, shallow and money-hungry. I'm really looking forward to "D.C.," and I have a feeling Michaele Salahi is exactly the kind of character I'm going to find fantastically fascinating and unbelievably ridiculous.

-- Cheryl Sadler

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