Not everyone's "Real Housewives" run ends with rivulets of mascara. Case in point: Frankel, who jumped from "The Real Housewives of New York" to two Bravo series of her own, "Bethenny Getting Married?" and "Bethenny Ever After," whose second season averaged more than 1 million viewers each week.
Focusing on dollars rather than drama helped the former "Apprentice" contestant grow her healthy lifestyle empire. In addition to selling her cocktail line for $120 million, she's sold nearly 500,000 copies of her books,"Naturally Thin" and "The Skinnygirl Dish." Last month, she told The Hollywood Reporter that she's so settled in her ventures, she soon wants to bow out of reality TV for good. "I like to leave a party when it's in full swing," she said.
Fellow "Real Housewives of New York" cast member LuAnn de Lesseps could have gone the catty route. The royally connected mother of two and former model could have used her husband's divorce filing as ammo to launch a spinoff "Bachelorette"-esque series, "Countess Wants a Count." But instead, de Lesseps took the high road. In 2009, she released "Class With the Countess: How to Live With Elegance and Flair," a manual that Bravo producers might want to make required reading for future "Housewives" cast members.