“It is a distinct possibility that some past cast members might make appearances on this upcoming season,” executive producer Alex Baskin told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday, June 6, one day before part 3 of the reunion will air on Bravo.
Confirming that cameras will be up “in the next few weeks,” he explained: “The truth is, we’re on our typical production timeline. We’re just not on an accelerated timeline. There was some thought that we would head right into the next season after the reunion, and then it became clear to us that we needed to slow down a minute. So that’s what we did. We’re making preparations for the next season, but we didn’t just go continuously from the reunion into the next season.”
When Vanderpump Rules premiered on Bravo in 2013, the show starred Lisa Vanderpump, Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Jax Taylor, Scheana Shay, Katie Maloney and Tom Sandoval. While Ariana Madix, Tom Schwartz, James Kennedy, Lala Kent and Raquel Leviss have become crucial additions to the cast, the network cut ties with Stassi, Kristen and Jax (along with wife Brittany Cartwright, whom he married in 2019) after season 8 in 2020 amid backlash for resurfaced racially insensitive remarks.
Kristen, for her part, made a cameo on the season 10 finale in light of the news that her ex Sandoval had a months-long affair with Raquel, blindsiding his longtime girlfriend Ariana. Brittany, meanwhile, told Us Weekly earlier this month that she and Jax are “definitely getting the itch” to film the reality show again as Scandoval makes waves.
The aftermath of the affair, however, has also raised questions about Raquel’s return as the former pageant contestant seeks treatment for mental health struggles.
“We have ongoing conversations with her team and we’re supposed to speak to her as well soon,” Baskin said. “And, we’re going to see. We want to make sure she is in a place where it makes sense for her to tell her story in a public setting. We think it’s interesting to see what is going on with her life right now and what she plans to do from here, but our first order of business is making sure that it makes sense for her to be on television.”
As for Ariana’s previous declaration that she won’t film with Sandoval or Raquel due to their betrayal, Baskin isn’t too concerned.
“The cast knows that those conditional demands never work. So I don’t think it’s a matter of that. It’s a matter of dialing in what is organic for the group to be together, what makes sense. And knowing we want to see where they go from here. It can’t be a show with separate islands. That doesn’t work and it’s not exciting if we have groups who agree with each other but never interact,” he said. “But the cast does have the full expectation that we intend to make another season of Vanderpump Rules. Not that we want to make a show that doesn’t resemble one we’ve made for all these years. It’s a show that has followed this group through everything they’ve been through to date, and we’ll see them as they continue to move forward. There still are a ton of ties between people who have incredibly strained relations right now; Tom and Ariana still live together. So even seeing how that resolves is of interest.”
Baskin continued: “It isn’t like all of a sudden they have gone to their respective ends of the universe and that’s it. So there’s a lot for us to cover and genuinely we have no idea how it’s going to play out, just like we wouldn’t have been able to predict any of this.”
“There is, as we’ve been teasing, a twist at the end of the reunion. So I think it’s the perfect capper to a season unlike any other. We wind down the day of [filming the reunion] and then a few days later, there’s yet another development,” Baskin told THR. “I’ll just say this isn’t a garden-variety getting-the-group-together-to-recap show or, in this case, just Raquel speaking her piece of apologies to Ariana. There are revelations and developments that left even our heads spinning.”