Why Andy Cohen initially didn't want Bethenny Frankel or Lisa Rinna on 'Real Housewives'

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Andy Cohen Initially Didn't Want Bethenny Frankel on 'Housewives'

When it comes to producing Bravo's "The Real Housewives," Andy Cohen has his eyes on the prize. In this case, that means casting the women who will mesh well with the other cast members but who also fit into the "Housewives" paradigm.

So when it came to popular cast members, Bethenny Frankel, Kim Zolciak, and newcomer Lisa Rinna, Cohen admits he wasn't so sure.

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Why Andy Cohen initially didn't want Bethenny Frankel or Lisa Rinna on 'Real Housewives'
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Andy Cohen -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Andy Cohen -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Andy Cohen attends the 2015 NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Upfront at The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on May 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: Sarah Jessica Parker (L) and Andy Cohen attend the 'China: Through The Looking Glass' Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
In this Nov. 5, 2014 photo, host Andy Cohen poses for a portrait on the set of his show, "Watch What Happens Live," in New York. Cohen has published a second book, "The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year." (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: Andy Cohen attends the 'Mad Men' New York Special Screening at The Museum of Modern Art on March 22, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - NOVEMBER 23: Andy Cohen attends Gilt City Celebrates The Launch Of Andy Cohen's New Book, The Andy Cohen Diaries on November 23, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Gilt City)
HE VIEW - Andy Cohen guest co-hosts; Queen Latifah (The Queen Latifah Show); Cheryl Hines (ABCs Suburgatory); Whats Trending Now? with an up-to-the-minute look at what everyone is talking about online today, Monday, January 13, 2014 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images) JENNY MCCARTHY, ANDY COHEN, SHERRI SHEPHERD
FILE - This April 3, 2013 file photo shows Bravo TV's "Watch What Happens Live" host Andy Cohen at the Bravo Network 2013 Upfront in New York. Cohen has a deal with Henry Holt and Company for “The Andy Cohen Diaries,” the publisher announced Wednesday, May 7, 2014. According to Holt, his book is scheduled for release in the fall and will be a gossipy feast, featuring A-list stars, reality stars, family members and cab drivers. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, FIle)
HE VIEW - Andy Cohen guest co-hosts; Queen Latifah (The Queen Latifah Show); Cheryl Hines (ABCs Suburgatory); Whats Trending Now? with an up-to-the-minute look at what everyone is talking about online today, Monday, January 13, 2014 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images) ANDY COHEN
Bravo executive VP, original programming and development, Andy Cohen attends the Bravo network 2012 upfront presentation on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
HE VIEW - Andy Cohen guest co-hosts; Queen Latifah (The Queen Latifah Show); Cheryl Hines (ABCs Suburgatory); Whats Trending Now? with an up-to-the-minute look at what everyone is talking about online today, Monday, January 13, 2014 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images) JENNY MCCARTHY, ANDY COHEN
HE VIEW - Andy Cohen guest co-hosts; Queen Latifah (The Queen Latifah Show); Cheryl Hines (ABCs Suburgatory); Whats Trending Now? with an up-to-the-minute look at what everyone is talking about online today, Monday, January 13, 2014 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images) WHOOPI GOLDBERG, BARBARA WALTERS, CHERYL HINES, SHERRI SHEPHERD, ANDY COHEN, JENNY MCCARTHY
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"I was initially wrong about [Frankel]," he reveals in an upcoming Watch What Happens Live special airing on May 26. "Because I, initially, when I saw the first casting of New York, was reticent about [her] because [she] had been on "TheApprentice." And I thought that that was weird at the time. Isn't that funny?"

Frankel, who was part of the original New York City cast, left after three seasons only to return for the show's seventh season. Cohen now admits that Frankel was "born to be a Housewife."

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When it came to "Atlanta," which started the same year as NYC, Cohen says he was hesitant over Zolciak because she was "this white woman." "I just didn't get it," the 46-year-old producer says.

Needless to say, she became one of the most popular and polarizing cast members, eventually leaving Housewives halfway through season five. (Zolciak stars in her own spin-off, "Don't Be Tardy," which was renewed for a fourth season.)

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The most surprising admission came when the topic turned to Lisa Rinna, who quickly became the ire of Kim Richards when she joined "Beverly Hills" in season five.

"You know Lisa Rinna was on the first casting tape for 'Beverly Hills,'" Cohen says. "In the first season of Beverly Hills, I thought 'I don't see it. It's weird. It's not what this show is. But then last year I wanted her on."

And good thing he added her. Rinna and newcomer Eileen Davidson quickly became fan favorites and we can never imagine traveling to Amsterdam without them.

Look back on all the drama between from season five, which found Richards battling with everyone, including her sister Kyle:

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