Dreams do come true! Bravo has officially confirmed what Us Weekly broke earlier this month: Bethenny Frankel is returning to The Real Housewives of New York City for season 7! The network made the announcement in a press release on Monday, Oct. 20, and Us spoke to the star about her decision two days prior.
"I'm genuinely excited, with a side of slightly nervous, for my return to The Real Housewives of New York City," Frankel, 43, said in the Bravo statement. "Bravo has always been the place on television where I have the freedom to be unfiltered, honest and inappropriate, with an audience who has been with me from the beginning. I can't wait to see what this next chapter brings for all of us. Watch what happens!"
Executive Producer Andy Cohen also shared his excitement, paying Frankel a huge compliment in the process. "Bethenny is one of the most popular Housewives in the history of the franchise," he said, "and I couldn't be more excited she is coming home to Bravo!"
As for which former costars she will be stepping back into the ring with? Bravo notes that the rest of the cast for the upcoming season have "yet to be announced." Her original cast members LuAnn de Lesseps and Ramona Singer were the only ones still standing after last season. Her former friend Jill Zarin and rival Kelly Bensimon exited in 2011.
Frankel admitted to Us that a reason why she decided to come back was for a new start. "I'm such a different person and in such a different place than when I was on first season," she explained. "Slightly exciting, a little bit of anxiousness, but it feels fresh. It doesn't feel like [how] I felt going into the third season of the Housewives. There was just so much muck and I just didn't feel it was good energy."
Frankel confirmed in 2010 that she would not be returning for the show's fourth season. During her time away, she and then-fiance Jason Hoppy filmed the spin-off Bethenny Getting Married?, two seasons of Bethenny Ever After, and welcomed daughter Bryn, now 4.
Coming back for another round of RHONY will prove to be a big change for the TV personality, who has hit some speed bumps within the past two years. She split from Hoppy in December 2012 and only recently reached a custody settlement after a drawn-out legal battle. In February, her eponymous daytime talk show was cancelled after just one season.
With all these changes, Frankel explained to Us that her story lines this upcoming season may look different, too. "When I went onto Housewives when I was younger, I didn't have family, I didn't have a business, I didn't have partners," she told Us, keeping mum on whether Bryn would make an appearance. "I think basically the important thing is how I'm just being honest about my perspective." As for opening up about her love life on TV? "That's not really what the focus of my life is right now," she said.
Frankel insists that the decision to return as a full-time Housewife was just her own, even though the title doesn't exactly fit. She joked to Us: "Ironically, I'm never a Housewife when I'm a housewife!"
UPDATE: Bravo announced on Monday that RHONY favorites Carole Radziwill, Heather Thomson, Kristen Taekman, LuAnn de Lesseps, Ramona Singer, and Sonja Morgan will complete the cast for the upcoming season.