Guess who’s back? Following the drama-filled Real Housewives of Orange County season 15 finale earlier this year, the OC franchise iteration is back with plenty of drama, new faces and returning Housewives.
After a five-year hiatus from the Bravo hit, RHOC alum Heather Dubrow officially makes her return to the show during the Wednesday, December 1, premiere, as first seen in a trailer for the new season.
“Hello, I’m back,” Heather, 52, calls out to an empty mansion in the clip, which premiered on Thursday, November 11, shortly after a voiceover of her iconic taglines is played.
Heather, who previously left the show in 2017, joins returning personalities Shannon Storms Beador, Gina Kirschenheiter and Emily Simpson on the program. Additionally, new Housewives Dr. Jen Armstrong and Noella Bergener join the California ladies’ fun.
Season 16 kicks off with a supersized 75-minute premiere as the “Heather Dubrow’s World Podcast” host returns to her dreamy Southern California life with husband Terry Dubrow and their four children. Per an official synopsis from Bravo, Heather’s kids have started to look at colleges and “find their own voices” just as Heather reunites with her former costars, including Shannon, 57, with who she’s instantly at odds with over issues of loyalty and betrayal.
In the season trailer, the ladies meet their new peers, go on boat trips, travel to the Big Apple, contemplate plastic surgery and, naturally, get into some heated arguments.
“Noella is clearly a very beautiful girl,” Shannon explained in a confessional about her new costar, 36. “She seems to be an open book.”
News of the upcoming season 16 premiere followed the previous headlines that Kelly Dodd, Elizabeth Lyn Vargas and Braunwyn Windham-Burke departed at the conclusion of the previous season.
“COVID 2020 was a very unfortunate and tough year for all of us during filming but we made it happen and I’m very proud of what we accomplished as a team,” the Missouri native, 45, explained of her exit in a June Instagram post. “Despite filming during COVID and not really getting to know all the ladies fully, this past year has been the most extraordinary, amazing and beautiful experience of my life. I am so proud of the work we have done and the friendships we were able to build. To the Fans … I can never ever thank you enough for the outpouring of love, support and the kindness you have shown to me.”
At the same time, it was confirmed that the New York native would return to the franchise, a decision that she was open to ever since her initial departure.
“Well, I always say ‘never say never,’ because, you know, if in two years I was back on the show I don’t want to be like, ‘Well, they’re going in a different direction and I really like the way it’s going,’” Heather told Entertainment Tonight in June 2019. “You never know what life is gonna bring you, but I feel like I’m in a good spot [off the show].”
One year later, the That’s Life alum opened up about where she stood with her former costars after her exit.
“You know what? I haven’t watched the show since I left,” she exclusively told Us Weekly in July 2020. “I didn’t watch before, and I haven’t watched since I’ve left. I keep up with a bunch of the girls, I’ve run into some of them, but not the day-to-day.”
The Real Housewives of Orange County premieres on Bravo Wednesday, December 1, at 9 p.m. ET.
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