'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' season 3: Exclusive cast photo reveals two new housewives!

Atlanta-HousewivesImage Credit: Quantrell Colbert/BravoLisa Wu out—Cynthia and Phaedra in! EW has exclusively learned that Bravo will officially add two new housewives to the cast for its third season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, which is set to premiere on Oct. 4 at 9 p.m. ET. The network will make the announcement this afternoon. As you can see from the first-look cast photo above, NFL wife Lisa Wu Hartwell went the way that DeShawn Snow did after season one—she’s no longer a full-fleged cast member. However, sources tell us that Hartwell will indeed make occasional appearances on the show, much like Dina Manzo did after she departed The Real Housewives of New Jersey earlier this season. Atlanta‘s season three cast is, from left to right: Phaedra Parks, NeNe Leakes, Shereé Whitfield, Cynthia Bailey, Kim Zolciak, and Kandi Burruss. Pretty glam cast, eh? As for new adds Cynthia and Phaedra, here’s what you need to know:

Cynthia Bailey: She’s a model who was born in Alabama, has appeared on the cover of Essence magazine, and has a 10-year-old daughter, Noelle.You might remember her from a brief guest role on The Cosby Show (she played a character named Sheniquah Watkins) or her spot as Roxanne opposite Sandra Bernhard in the musical comedy Without You I’m Nothing. This season on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, the independent woman will grapple with a marriage ultimatum from her boyfriend of three years, Peter Thomas, and deepen her bond with NeNe.

Phaedra Parks: This friend of Dwight and Kandi’s is an entertainment lawyer—specifically, the managing partner of an Atlanta-based boutique firm that works with entertainers and athletes. She’s a self-proclaimed “Southern Belle,” and does charity, which is a hallmark of the Housewives franchise. Her big storyline this season? She’s married to a younger man, Apollo, who went to prison for a “white collar crime,” and the ladies love to gossip about that. And surprise: Phaedra’s pregnant! Much of her time will be consumed with planning a baby shower. Also worth noting: Phaedra is from the same hometown as spitfire NeNe. Here’s hoping for a little from-the-archives drama between the pair!

The rest of the ladies have been busy, too: NeNe will deal with a rocky marriage and focuses on finding a career by landing a job as an entertainment reporter for the local news; Kim will do the music thing again, and even embark on a tour alongside Kandi; Kandi will reel from the death of her former fiancé, AJ, and try to rebuild a relationship with her cancer-stricken father; and Shereé will  pursue acting—she claims to want to win an Oscar one day! Which means she enlists an acting coach. Good luck with that!

Overall, could this possibly be a classier, less wig-ripping season of Atlanta? With the addition of the “Southern Belle” Phaedra and model Cynthia, seems like we’re headed toward less trashy territory. But do you think that’s even possible on this show, PopWatchers? Are you excited for the news cast members?

Also, here’s a just-posted video preview of this season:

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

Comments (198 total) Add your comment
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  • Bobbi

    Nice picture, but this sure isn’t exclusive news. It has been all over the web and they’re even on twitter! So has the news about Lisa. Love EW, but this is old news.

    • Tanner Stransky

      It is about the picture–take a look at the headline. And previously this news was unconfirmed by Bravo. At EW, we don’t publish things until they’re confirmed.

      • Kara

        Tanner, I think what you mean is you don’t publish things until Bravo allows you to publish them.

    • Daddy

      Snap! Tanner set you “straight.” See what I did there?

    • Ty

      OMG I missed NeNe…Jersey housewives has been terrible and I haven’t even made it through 10 minutes of DC…I for one am excited.

      • sd

        I THINK JERSEY WAS GOOD BUT I DO AGREE WITH YOU ABOUT DC SOOOO BORING

      • sharina

        i know i love nene she is real and down to earth the other housewives from the other shows are fake.

    • Nicoco

      Just watching the housewives a couple of times reminds why I do not have a lot of women in my inner circle. Backstabbers!

  • Dave

    hood-rats

    • For real?

      Dave that’s kind of wrong…but it made me laugh. I hope your a** ain’t white saying that sh*t.

    • Not Dave

      Even if Dave was or wasn’t, the use of hoodrats is only being used because the cast is mostly black. He wouldn’t have used it if they were white or Asian. Besides the typical conflicts, season 2 wasn’t as sensationalistic as season 1. It was classier and had more humane moments from most of the women. I think the problem is that people expect them to be “hoodrats”

      • Tiff

        If by hood-rats you mean broke women pretending to have money, then yes….. HOOD-RATS

      • Shay

        I totaly agree with u

    • Jessica

      I am there with you DAVE… I live in Atlanta and was at a party at W hotel with both NeNe and Kim and they were both barefoot and throwing things (drinks, chairs etc.) hoooood RRRRRATs

      • Shay

        That sound like a lie

      • Kilo

        Every body who’s talking bout there h@@dratz n broke,what do yall have?so just fall back on the racism comments and let the real be real, and tha fake pretend!!!

    • Henry

      I’m Black, Dave and I don’t care what your ethnic background is. Saying “hood rat” is not the equivalent to some self proclaimed advice guru chanting “n*gger” eleven times.

      • jmz

        GET OVER YOURSELF DAVE!!!

    • Donovan

      Is that the same as black trash? I love that blacks are always trying to pretend they have money but rarely do. At least they keep them in Atlanta.

      • Patrice

        what the hell so white people don’t act like that, im black and i only have what i have and thats how i act nothing more or less are you racist. you can not speak for all BLACKS>

      • Chrissy

        Actually, White trash sounds better. Its more common anyway. And since the only white cast memember was the only one dating a married man. I guess its safe to say WHITE TRASH.

      • A. Fran

        Baring you being allowed access to their financial affairs, none of the people commenting on this have absolutely no standing to judge their standing.

    • Sheena

      Dave, Donovan AND Jessica…you are all CLEARLY very ignorant and limited in your understanding of racial slurs. It always amazes me how other races think they can use derogatory terms to describe people of African descent. Please understand the meaning of “hood rat” before using it. If you truly understood what a “hood rat” was, you’d know that these women are FAR from it.

      And contrary to your belief, more African Americans have money than you realize. When they don’t, they don’t fake it like many of the world’s other etnicities. Hmmm…

      Let me enlighten you to something else: these shows are not-so-real reality tv. What is shown is strictly to drive ratings. These women – regardless of their ethnicity – are FAR MORE DIGNIFIED than Jersey Housewives and DC Housewives who are NOT predominantly African American.

      • Red

        Sheena you tell them because you are totally right. People of African descent are judged poorly as to how other ethnicitys are judged. I agree with every thing you said. Good someone is sticking up for the right thing.

      • Donovan

        Shena…you are a black trash hood rat!

      • A. Fran

        I agree. There are times people take the concept of freedom of speech and cheapen it with rampant stupidity.

      • CJ

        Some of our people in our culture have and some have not. That is how it is with every culture. The ladies on the show are very classy and are soooo fine. So hoodrat is the last thing they should be called.

      • T

        LOVE IT SHEENA!!!

    • Shay

      Dav u r a hater

      • Jazmine

        f**k u Devil whatever your name is

  • hannah

    Clothes provided from She by Sheree.

    • bvr24

      Except Dwight’s. He’ll be wearing He By Heree.

      • Jimmy

        he by heree lmao that’s too hilarious!

      • Henry

        lol

  • Hmm

    What makes them hood rats?

    • josh

      broke and classless… just like a rat that lives in the hood

  • lilkunta

    is this phaedra parks the same lawyer that represented bobby brown in his chiild support non payment case; & keyshia cole’s family? is she not making $ from her law degree that she is doing this? im surprised.

  • Fluffer

    Are any of them even housewives? Why not call it like it is?
    Real Broke-@ss B!tches of Atlanta

    • Arnold

      That title would only be appropriate if your sister was on the show.

      • Sheena

        Sister…or mother or grandmother.

    • jean

      That is a real tacky thing to say about someone at least they are on T.V. where are you? Don’t be a hater.What have they done to you? I liked them all, they have class, they are strong black women. Oh let me guess this comment came from a caucasion. Should have known, yall have been hating on our sisters for years.

      • tara

        so true

      • Chrissy

        They been hating on our sisters for years, but always dying to sleep with them. Oh yeah and why are so many white girls getting but injections now. With they low class wannabe black ass.

      • Chrissy

        They been hating on our sisters for years, but always dying to sleep with them. Oh yeah and why are so many white girls getting but injections now. With they low class wannabe black a**

      • faye

        TV is nothing more than entertainment
        so let them make some money!!!!!

  • Seanti

    I liked Lisa. Oh well.

    • JP

      She’s too rich and classy for the show. That’s why they fired her.

  • kate

    It’s news to me!; I dont maniacally follow these guilty-pleasure shows when they’re not in season. So, thanks EW for keeping me up to speed when the info. is relevant.

    I want to know more about Kim on tour, though… please entertain this curiosity of mine!

  • TRIM

    None of these broads are married! wtf

    • Sarah

      NeNe is.

      • Kp

        The new one Phaedra is too.

    • jean

      So

  • Jethro

    Their turn is up already? Wow, time really does fly?

  • JD

    Nope, still trash

    • Ivory Zeigler

      I am so glad that Kandi Burruss is still on the show her and kim are my two faves sheree is sort of too but not as much as kandi and Kim Nee Nee Leakes is straight up hood i think she from the same city as me Dc Lol

  • realATLgal

    I love Kim and Kandi although I would love to see a more diverse cast! But, let’s hope these ladies will represent ATL w/ class and dignity! :)

    • dani

      That would be a boring show…I’m ready for them though the New Jersey cast needs to add more people, they are so boring.

    • Boo

      ATL has no class LOL

  • Tribunal

    The season doesn’t look like there will be a lot of fighting when compared to season 2, or even the Real Housewives of New Jersey.
    But honestly I’m just happy to see them back, especially after the bore-fest that has been the Real Housewives of DC.

    • Maureen

      I agree. The D.C. spin-off is boring as hell.

      • renee

        I agree, no excitement with the housewives of DC, thats because they didnt get the right ladies,

      • Rene

        DC housewives do not represent the professional women in DC. The cast is sooooo fake. I hope the show go off the tv air or change the cast members.

    • Texas Finest

      After watching the show tonight w Atlanta House Wifes, I got so discusted, I am african american but I see why our brothers dont mess with us, we are to messy its ridicolous I mean i know i dont have to comment but I just listen to us in the work place, and now this mess on TV man ladies we need to stop.

  • A

    Now this I love. Just a hot mess.

  • D

    I didn’t even know there was a show regarding the housewives of DC? Was that cancelled?

    • Mumbles

      No, DC Housewives is just getting started– I think about 3 weeks ago.

    • C

      No but shoulda been.

      • renee

        well what do you all think of Kims performance last night , I thought she was too old for the outfit, and Kandi need to let the Rooster Red hair do go, NeNe is busy trying to keep her family together, good thing, Sheree’s daughter is beautiful, Phradea hope I spelled it right( LOL )
        I wish she didnt make those ugly expressions with her mouth,

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