What We Know About RHOC Season 16

Fans of "The Real Housewives of Orange County" know that like a lot of reality shows, Season 15 was dramatic. In addition to juggling the interpersonal exploits and squabbles of the show's cast, the season was also filmed as the coronavirus pandemic raged on. The ladies of the show still managed to pull it together to enjoy their traditional end-of-the-season party, though, and each of the characters appeared to wrap up their individual trials and tribulations just in time for the season to end.

Season 16 of the show began filming this summer, a fact that was confirmed by cast member Heather Dubrow in late July 2021 when she shared a photo of herself on Instagram surrounded by masked crew members.

There's a lot to look forward to this season for "Real Housewives" fans. For starters, some fans were surprised to see Dubrow back at all since she left the show back in Season 11. If her return is anything to go by, Season 16 might be full of the unexpected.

What is the release date for Season 16 of RHOC?

Since the crew only just started filming Season 16 of the show, it's tough to know exactly when the new season will be ready for viewers. It's likely that producers and cast alike will want to make this a great season for "The Real Housewives of Orange County," especially as Season 15 has been described as "a complete disaster in the eyes of the viewers" (via Screen Rant).

One person who will be missing from the show is Kelly Dodd, who was fired following the completion of Season 14. Dodd has gone on to claim that she believes her firing was personal. She explained, "I said, 'Well, why? Was it political?' and he said, 'No. Bravo wanted to take a different direction than you'" (via Screen Rant). However, husband Rick Levanthal had a hard time buying that explanation. He spoke up in support of his wife, noting that "There's no one more popular than her. Even if people hate her, they love to hate her. They love to watch her. She was the brightest spark on that show" (via Screen Rant).

Who will be returning for Season 16 of RHOC?

Despite some cast shake-ups, viewers can definitely be rest assured that the upcoming season of "The Real Housewives of Orange County" will be a lot of fun. For starters, as mentioned above, former castmate Heather Dubrow is back! 

Dubrow recently explained to Andy Cohen that a few things in her life helped her to see that it made sense to return to the show. For one, it was just a good time to do so. "Timing is a big deal. Now things are a little bit different. My family's in a different place. My kids are a little bit older" (via Bravo).

As Bravo pointed out, Dubrow added that the events of the last year made her see the opportunity a little differently as well. "The pandemic has sort of given me a different perspective on things. And then I started thinking about, 'How many times do you get to go back and try something again?'"

Who got fired after Season 15 of RHOC?

Of course, not everyone from Season 15 of "The Real Housewives of Orange County" will be back. In fact, Braunwyn Windham-Burke was devastated to learn that Bravo chose to not renew her contract ahead of Season 16.

While appearing on the podcast "Reality Life with Kate Casey," Windham-Burke explained how her firing went down. "I was at the beach with a friend, and the showrunner said, 'Hey, are you free?' ... He called and just said, 'Hey, you know, Bravo is not renewing your contract. They decided to go a different direction.' I just sat down on the ground and cried. I didn't want to break down in public. But I kind of just sat down behind my car and I just cried" (via Page Six).

Windham-Burke, who came out as gay last year but is still married to her husband, also added that the most upsetting part is that she was looking forward to being herself on the show. "I was really excited. It's Pride Month. It's June. I was really excited that we were finally going to have a gay 'Housewife.' And I was really looking forward to that, you know, and filming that and filming with the person that I was with that day" (via Page Six).