Even before the previous installment finished airing, drama surrounding The Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 16 was already exploding, off camera. Citing unnamed production sources, LoveBScott reported on Aug. 28 that Bravo execs decided to re-cast RHOA in the wake of a poorly received Season 15, and Entertainment Tonight confirmed that “a major shakeup is coming,” soon afterward.
“Before the women filmed their recent reunion, they were told that they should expect a big change with the franchise moving forward,” a source told ET the following day. “The cast is on edge about their future and has no idea where the network plans to go. Although their ratings are still strong, the network is listening to fans and their desire for a change.”
A second insider, however, countered that no decisions have been made and likely won’t be made until after the reunion finishes airing on Sept. 10. Still, in the aftermath of the reports, RHOA producers reportedly began receiving death threats, prompting the network to make an official statement to LoveBScott on Aug. 30: “Bravo strongly condemns threats and online attacks against The Real Housewives of Atlanta producers and urges people to please stop.”
Though Bravo has yet to make any additional announcements about RHOA’s future, here’s everything to know about Season 16, so far.
The RHOA Season 16 Cast
Though it remains to be seen which — if any — of the ladies will return, the full-time RHOA Season 15 peach-holders included Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore, Drew Sidora, Shereé Whitfield, Marlo Hampton, and Sanya Richards Ross. Joining the women in “friend of” roles were Monyetta Shaw-Carter and newcomer Courtney Rhodes.
Though The Real Housewives of New York City found success by bringing in an entirely new cast, ET reported that some of the women could still make a comeback. “[Bravo] hinted at a reboot like New York got, but it also could be moving forward with only a couple of the current stars,” an insider claimed. Sanya, for one, seemed to indirectly address the reports in an Aug. 30 Instagram Story, writing,“Everyone rushing to report FIRST instead of reporting FACTS. Just wait for it...”
Meanwhile, Kenya, who had accused RHOA producers on social media of showing favoritism and cutting her scenes, including an “intentionally deleted” salon event and daughter Brooklyn’s birthday party. “I’m hurt and simply being transparent,” she tweeted on Aug. 28. As fans rallied around her, she posted another message to “Team Twirl” two days later, writing, “You have always seen me and I SEE YOU! It’s giving ride or die energy. I’m going to continue being Fabulous and being me and give them cute, classy, sophisticated reads and I want you to do the same. No hatred. No threats. Only love. We got this!”
Should some positions open up in the cast, several past members have expressed interest in making a RHOA comeback. In July, Porsha Guobadia (née Williams) teased the possibility of her return in an ET interview. “I’ve never written it off, I’ve never talked down on the show. I love what the girls are doing. I love that the brand is still as strong as it was before,” she said, adding, “You just never know. I will say [that] I’ll never say never.” Months later, however, the same outlet reported that she was “playing hardball” with the network.
“Bravo offered Porsha a lot of money to return, but she declined,” ET’s source claimed. “Porsha is telling friends she wants to be the highest-paid Housewife on any franchise. Porsha could return, but as of now, she and Bravo have not come to an agreement.”
Despite her since-dropped 2022 lawsuit against Bravo, Andy Cohen, and the RHOA producers, in which she detailed claims of an alleged hostile and racist work environment, Nene Leakes also told TMZ the same month that she “would come back for the fans.” She added, “The fans are the ones that love me. They’re the ones that would love to see me in that position. And I would do anything for them.”
After making a cameo in RHOA Season 15, Kim Zolciak-Biermann sparked rumors she could also make a larger comeback. After all, her ongoing divorce from Kroy Biermann would provide a compelling storyline. However, an insider told Us Weekly in July that Kim “has no plans to return full-time” to RHOA. If her and Kroy’s on-and-off divorce is any indication, plans can always change.
The RHOA Season 16 Potential Premiere Date
If a RHOA reboot truly is in the works, the show could take a brief “pause” to regroup, meaning there’s no telling when Season 16 might premiere. However, the two most recent installments kicked off filming in the late summer, ahead of May premieres, which is still within the realm of possibility, pending Bravo’s casting and production decisions. Historically, though, RHOA has primarily had a November drop, and the network might also return to that tradition in 2024. Worst case scenario? There was a two-year gap between RHONY seasons after Bravo chose an all-new cast, meaning a 2025 return isn’t necessarily out of the question either.
This post will be updated as more RHOA Season 16 details become available.