Let us tell you the story of how The Real Housewives franchise really started

Aug 19, 2016 at 5:55 p.m. ET
Image: Bravo

Can you imagine a world without our Real Housewives stars? Where instead of dozens of Housewives we had just... one? In a new special from Oprah: Where Are They Now, former cast member Jeana Keough tells the story of the Real Housewives that wasn't.

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As Keough explained, the original Real Housewives of Orange County focused singularly on her and her family. "The producer, Scott Dunlop, wrote the show about my family,” she says. "He was my next-door neighbor."

It was Bravo who brought the other women into the picture, says Keough. “When he started pitching the idea, he filmed us and sent it to Bravo. They said, ‘Yeah, we like it, but let’s see some other families.’” If it weren't for the writer's strike, the show might never have happened. Keough says their success came partly by default; "for lack of anything else on TV."

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The local reception was less than warm at first, she continues. "The show was a huge disappointment to Coto [de Caza]. They were afraid it was going to make them look stupid. They were boycotting and having big news conferences at the club about, ‘Let’s stop this filming. It’s disruptive. Our children are all going to be kidnapped.’" Thankfully, the producers continued on their merry way anyway.

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Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

RHOC scandals slideshow
Image: Bravo

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