Ranking the 'Real Housewives' franchises from worst to best

In the name of the father, son and Andy Cohen

The cast of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" in 2012. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
The cast of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" in 2012. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

There are two kinds of people in this world: There are people who think the "Real Housewives" and all the other programs on the Bravo network are trashy and unwatchable, and there are those who think the cast of "The Real Housewives of New York City" deserve a Peabody Award. 

If you're a part of the latter group, then this article is for you. 

The "Housewives" have given us catty fights and laugh-out-loud moments for the better part of a decade, and the franchise is currently holding strong, with seven shows airing on Bravo. 

The best part about having so many "Real Housewives" shows is that each franchise brings something to the table. If you want to laugh, you watch "Real Housewives of New York," and if you're looking for lavish lifestyles, look no further than "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."

That's why we decided to rank the different shows, from worst to best. If you love reality TV and never watched "The Real Housewives," this list will help you decide which show to watch first, and which ones should be saved for later. 

7.) "The Real Housewives of Orange County (RHOC)" 

"The Real Housewives of Orange County" was the first of the "Housewives" franchise and set the bar for fellow reality TV shows to come. Over the years, we've watched "RHOC" cast members like Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge and many other ladies fight and play in California's infamous county, but recent seasons have been a bit of a bore. 

Things are on the ups for the ladies of Orange County, though. Longtime cast member Gunvalson was demoted to a "friend" of the Housewives (which means she won't be in the show's opening credits), and the show seems to be bringing some better drama. Will it hold up? It's hard to say. After 14 seasons on the air, "RHOC" might be heading toward the end of its run. 

6.) "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (RHOBH)"

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. "RHOBH" was once the crown jewel of the Bravo network, but the past few seasons have had fans wondering what happened to the dramatic and hilarious show they once knew. 

The show really took a plunge when the latest season's drama revolved around how one of the Housewives' rescue dog ended up in a kill shelter and not returned to Lisa Vanderpump's dog rescue. The story got leaked to the press, which prompted Vanderpump to seclude herself from the rest of the cast because she thought the criticism from the other women wasn't fair. 

Vanderpump's exit from the show is a bummer because she is such a popular reality TV star (don't even get us started on the brilliance that is "Vanderpump Rules"), but now that she's gone, the remaining cast members are free to be their authentic selves. Well, hopefully. 

The show recently announced it was adding actress and model Garcelle Beauvais and party planner Sutton Stracke to the cast, which will surely shake things up. Keep your fingers crossed, people -- because not all hope is lost with these ladies. 

5.) "The Real Housewives of Dallas (RHOD)"

"The Real Housewives of Dallas" is one of the newer shows to join the franchise, but in its four seasons, it's made a great impact, giving us some iconic "Real Housewives" moments, mostly thanks to wildcard Housewife Leeanne Locken. 

"RHOD" would be higher up on this list, but the ratings haven't been the greatest since the newest season debuted. These women certainly bring the drama, and learning about high society in Dallas is equal parts hilarious and terrifying. 

The cast members have a key chance to up the drama and hopefully gather some loyal viewers, but they better do it fast. It's gonna take a lot more than Locken threatening the other Housewives with her hands to make it higher up on this list. 

4.) "The Real Housewives of New Jersey (RHONJ)"

Finally, after years of disappointing seasons, "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" are officially back. It took some time, but ever since Teresa Guidice (aka the Housewife who flipped a table and made reality TV history) was released from prison, the show has gotten better and better. 

Once the show took on new Housewife Margaret Josephs and brought back original Jersey Housewife Danielle Staub as a "friend," the show found its gritty, drama-filled nature that it was once known for.

The ladies of New Jersey are tough as nails, and they're once again reminding audiences why the show was originally so good. 

3.) "The Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA)" 

The ladies of Atlanta were the third "Housewives" franchise to grace our TV screens, and thank goodness they did. The show has been legendary for most of its run, and ever since original cast member Nene Leakes returned to the drama a few seasons ago, it's been even better. 

Fans of "RHOA" are getting even more excited for the upcoming season because Kenya Moore is returning to the show after she was absent last season. Moore just had her first child, so it will be fun to see if she bonds with another new mom, Porsha Williams. 

The current cast of "RHOA" has a lot of history together, which is always a good thing for a reality TV show. These ladies know how to push each other's buttons, and that's why "RHOA" is always a top-three show.

2.) "The Real Housewives of Potomac (RHOP)"

"The Real Housewives of Potomac" is the other new show in the franchise, and boy, is it getting good. The show has always been strong because it's packed with a wacky cast of women. Karen Huger is wildly outrageous, and Ashley Darby has a closet full of skeletons. 

Its latest season was truly bonkers, and the three-part reunion episodes will go down in the "Real Housewives" history books. It was like watching a master class in reality TV. This show is beyond underrated.

1.) "The Real Housewives of New York City (RHONY)"

Without a doubt, "The Real Housewives of New York City" is the best "Housewives" show, hands down, without question. The second show in the franchise, "RHONY" constantly delivers, and created one of the most famous and successful reality TV stars ever, Bethenny Frankel. 

Frankel is leaving the show, but there is still a cast full of colorful characters that fans have grown to love. Ramona Singer, Dorinda Medley and Sonja Morgan are dramatic, hilarious and wild, and how can you forget Countess Luann de Lesseps and her cabaret show? 

The best part about the cast of "RHONY" is that the women don't really care how they act in front of the cameras. They aren't trying to edit themselves, which some of the other shows get called out on. The ladies of "New York City" are genuinely staying true to their character, bad behavior and all. The best kind of reality TV stars are the ones who don't realize how wacky and wild they are, and that's exactly how the ladies of "RHONY" act. It's simply the best. 

So, do you agree with our picks? Did your favorite "Real Housewives" show make it to the top? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author:

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.