Looks like Atlanta housewife NeNe Leakes is trying in earnest to legitimize her now-infamous words, "I'm very rich, bitch." After scoring (and gloating about) the role of Coach Roz on "Glee," the outspoken star of Bravo's "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" has landed a second recurring gig in another Ryan Murphy-produced vehicle.
Leakes has been added to the cast of Murphy's recently greenlit NBC comedy "The New Normal," starring Justin Bartha ("The Hangover") and Andrew Rannells ("Girls") as a Beverly Hills couple trying to start a family with the help of a surrogate played by London import Georgia King. Ellen Barkin also co-stars. Leakes' character, Rocky, is an assistant to one of the guys.
On the red carpet for NBC's upfronts in New York, Leakes told The Huffington Post:
"I hope to stay on 'Glee,' I hope to still be a 'Housewife' and I hope to do 'The New Normal.' I just want to do it all!" she said. "Why not? I'm only going to be young for a little while longer."
Or, maybe it's that she'll only be hot for a little while longer... You can catch "The New Normal" on Tuesdays this fall.
In other reality news, Shaunie O'Neal of VH1's "Basketball Wives" issued a statement in conjunction with the network and producers discussing the new tone they hope/plan to take with the show moving forward.
Heavily under fire this season after numerous episodes of bullying, catfights and lawsuits touched a nerve with viewers and brought on boycotts and threats of sponsor pullouts, executive producer Shaunie and the powers-that-be took a hint and made a decision to "better the show"... "with a more responsible attitude all around."
Good for them. And I'm sure there are plenty of fans who are happy about the talk of a more balanced view, especially after Monday night's episode where a volatile Tami Roman bullied soft-spoken Kesha Nichols right off the island of Tahiti -partially for talking behind Tami's back (that again?), but mostly for the sound of her voice, irritating Tami by coughing too much on the ride to the resort, being scared to get in the ocean with sharks and stingrays, and asking questions of the other girls like she was a reporter doing a news story (Tami's interpretation).
Fans have been vocal all season about how poorly African American women were being portrayed on the show in light of the limited positive images available on the big and small screens, and felt "Basketball Wives" perpetuated stereotypes. Jennifer Williams' slap-heard-around-the-world and ensuing lawsuit against former friend and Evelyn's assistant, Nia Crooks, was the tipping point and just set the whole thing ablaze. That being said, will viewers still tune in for "Basketball Wives" 2.0 - kinder, gentler, and with no physical violence? Sound off below!
For full statements (and video) from Shaunie, VH1 and Shed Media, click here.