The Real Housewives of Dallas will finally debut on Bravo at 9 Monday night.
But the fun -- and work -- is still going for the cast of Dallas-area women: LeeAnne Locken, Tiffany Hendra, Brandi Redmond, Stephanie Hollman and Cary Deuber.
Locken and Hendra will host a viewing party with KVIL-FM (103.7) on Monday night that will benefit Legacy Counseling. Redmond and Hollman will head to New York to promote the show. Redmond will be a guest on Watch What Happens Live after the show's premiere. Like a lot of viewers, host Andy Cohen is her favorite Housewife, albeit honorary.
"He's like my celebrity crush," the former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader says.
And Deuber, who is a registered nurse, is heading to LA to do "lots of things," including appearing on The Doctors and watching the premiere with producers.
Just as the show brought them together, it's pushing them apart. But the women feel a part of something a long time coming.
"I just look at this as this incredible sorority," Locken says. "You just have this sense of that we're a sisterhood."
The franchise, birthed with The Real Housewives of Orange County in 2006, has finally made its way to Texas. The wait is over for an area that seems particularly suited to this type of show. Locken has something to say about that.
"Bravo has certainly tried, as have other production companies, have tried to put groups together," she says. "It's just finding the right group of women who all interact in a certain way to create the Housewives brand."
Hollman puts a pin in it: "I just think they needed all of us."
And these women aren't going to waste the spotlight, either.
Charity and family are two main tenets of a show in a genre often derided as classless, tasteless and many other -lesses.
"When they approached us, the thread between us, what connected us all, was charity," Locken says.
Says former social worker Hollman, who now manages charitable contributions for her husband's Las Colinas company: "... Giving back is very important to me. At the same time, I'm very cognizant that there are some big, big, big hitters in Dallas. I feel like we represent what's important to us."
Deubel is pointed in her participation, too. The registered nurse is also a mother; her intention is to show that women can have it all. She wore scrubs and clogs to the meeting as she had to leave to assist in a breast reconstructive surgery for a cancer survivor.
"I was like 'I'm gonna be me, this is me,' she says. "I am a nurse and first assistant for my husband who's a plastic surgeon, Mark Deuber."
The families of the entire cast are front and center, too. Viewers will get to know the husbands, significant others and the children. Prediction: Brandi's little ones might possibly steal this show.
"People say we're not real housewives," Brandi says. "Tell them I had a screaming kid this entire interview."
She's already living her dream, she says. "This is just icing on the cake."
Hendra's husband, Aaron, was watching the red carpet at the Dallas premiere this past Monday. He shook a visitor's hand, never taking his eyes off his wife, and said, "She deserves it." Official friend of the show Marie Reyes' husband was taking photos with his cellphone: "I just want some for me," he said.
Hendra was in LA for years with her modeling career, and decided to focus on her personal life, which meant returning home.
"I feel like God never lets go of your dreams," she says. "And to have this come full circle, being back home in Texas is a dream come true."
The premiere was held at The Chandelier Room on Dragon Street. Passed hors d'ouevres included mini tacos and Champagne. The decor was lily white, with pillow covers that screamed "Bravo." Chairs were set up in rows in front of two large screens. After the red carpet, barely the length of one wall, there was milling around, the requisite thank you's and the Dallas premiere began.
It was the first time that the five cast members, all seated together in the front row, had seen the show together. Were they checking out the others' reactions?
"There are certain parts where I was interested," says Hollman. Like when Brandi mimics LeeAnne, I'm not gonna lie, I looked over at LeeAnne to see if she was laughing."
Locken answers, "I was laughing. I was enjoying the heck out of it."
Locken, who proudly wears the nickname of "the mouth of the South," realizes that a lot of people are worried about how Dallas will be perceived once the show airs. She's quick to point out that the cast members are only representing themselves.
"We're so blessed. And we know what a huge blessing this is. We hope that the city of Dallas will understand we aren't trying to represent all of everyone," she says. "We're really here just to entertain you."
That may be a hard thing to sell, especially with any rumors, innuendo and any other baggage a show like this can trade in. But Deuber has it figured out, commenting to laughter.
"I've said it before ... You either love-watch it or hate-watch it, but you'll watch it."
"I think we're very entertaining and I think we're light-hearted and fun," she says.
Locken goes back to the charities -- her "heart and soul" -- and how this show will help them, though. That's how the women all know each other; this isn't some random assortment. Hendra and Locken have been friends for almost 30 years. Redmond and Hollman are BFFs. And Deuber is no stranger.
“I’m excited for what I can do as far as having a bigger voice to be able to help some of the smallest charities in our city," Locken says.
But this is still a Housewives show.
So expect strained group outings, raised voices and heated confrontations. And plenty of "Bless your heart."
The real women of The Real Housewives of Dallas are poised to heat up the spring. Don't worry: Judging from the first two episodes, they throw plenty of shade.