Caroline Manzo…The Next Chapter

Photo: CarolineManzo.com

Photo: CarolineManzo.com

She may no longer hold the title of Real Housewife, but Caroline Manzo is holding her head very high these days. Well rested since completing her final season on RHONJ over a year ago, she has been spending lots of time with her family and being “normal”. Now preparing for her reality television return in a new, self titled series, she’s ready to bring the light hearted laughter back to Bravo. I caught up with Caroline at the annual Spring Sparkle shopping event.

TBB: The Manzo’d With Children pilot is complete and you are about to start production on the real McCoy…

CM: Yes, the real McCoy! Eight episodes which we will start filming in about 2 weeks. I don’t know how long the process will take, maybe 8 or 9 weeks.

TBB: How do you think this will compare to filming Housewives?

CM: It’s a completely different animal. It’s a half hour (show), it’s light hearted. There will be dilemmas and stuff but not the crazy drama that Housewives was. It kind of just spotlights the way we live our life in our house.

TBB: I know your mother, Nettie Laurita, she’s a very creative , very interesting and inspiring woman. Will she be on the show at all?

CM: I don’t know. We only have 8 episodes and they will be following our lives, so I don’t know what’s going to make it on. There’s so much going on with me and Al, and the three kids (Albie, Lauren, and Christopher) and then there’s the extended family, Vito (Scalia), and my sister Fran (Laurita) who’s also on the show. That’s a lot to pack into 8 episodes in a half hour, really only 22 minutes when you count the commercials!

TBB: How are the plans for Lauren and Vito’s wedding coming along?

CM: We’re taking out time. She’s got a year left as she’s getting married next summer. We have the venue, obviously The Brownstone, and we have the church and the band booked. Probably July or August we’ll start wedding gown shopping. Then I’m just going to sit back and relax! The hardest part I don’t even have to worry about. I’m just going to show up at The Brownstone and I’m sure everything will be fine!

TBB: What has it been like knowing the The Real Housewives of New Jersey is taping and you are no longer a part of it, after you were for so many seasons from the very beginning of the series? Do you miss it at all?

CM: It was funny, my husband and my kids said to me, “We got your back,” because it takes a toll on you. I am just happy and relaxed enjoying time with Al and the kids. I’ve been playing tennis, and getting back in the gym, and cooking dinner. I’m just being normal. Not one single second did I think about it, not one moment did I miss it. I wish them all well, obviously. My time was done, I knew when it was time to go and I opted out.

TBB: Have you heard anything about the filming of Season 7?

CM: I know nothing, I know absolutely nothing. If I see any of the ladies I don’t ask about it. When something is in my past, it’s in my past. I had nothing left to give, I didn’t see eye to eye with a lot of the way things were going, so why would I go back and ask questions and wonder how filming was going? I would have stayed on otherwise. So, I left for a reason and I’m happy.

TBB: What was your initial reaction when you found out that your sister Dina (Manzo) was rejoining the cast of Housewives?

CM: It’s her choice and I’m not going to say more than that.

 

The latest Sparkle event was sponsored by Jeff Bailey, Todd Bailey, and Anthony Laurita of United Real Estate NJ. Photographed with Caroline and TBB.

The latest Sparkle event was sponsored by Jeff Bailey, Todd Bailey, and Anthony Laurita of United Real Estate NJ. Photographed with Caroline and TBB.

TBB: Are we going to see a revival of the Ham Game?

CM: I hope not! Those kids you know what, they don’t stop! I love them to death! They keep me young, they keep me laughing all the time, you know, Ham Game, who knows! If it’s not Ham Game, leave it to Christopher to think of something else I’m sure!

TBB: How’s Jacqueline doing?

CM: Jacqueline’s doing great! Nick is in therapy, we’re all hands in on that. It’s 1 step forward, 100 steps back, but I’ve always said, “If love can cure, he’ll be fine.”

TBB: Will we see Chris and Jac on (Manzo’d With Children)?

CM: I hope so, they are a very big part of my life. Again, it’s only 8 episodes and when you’ve got a family as big as mine…My house is like the hub, mine and Chris’s house are where everything all happens. But again, it’s like the Housewives, they film thousands of hours and you just never know what’s going to make it.

TBB: What do you hope viewers get out of Manzo’d With Children?

CM: I want them to smile. I want them to laugh and I want them to smile because that’s what life’s about!

Reality Roundup: The Real Housewives of New Jersey Rodeo!

Caroline Manzo (Source: Getty Images)

For all the table-flipping, screaming and stripping allegations that are tossed around on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, we could always count on Caroline Manzo to be the voice of reason amongst the cast.

However, Caroline may be throwing in the towel after five drama-filled seasons on RHONJ. Manzo, an original cast member of the show, may not be returning for season six of the hit reality series.

“Caroline leaving is a natural progression,” a source told E! News. “As to the reason why, it will become clearer to viewers in the season finale and the reunion episodes why this was the right decision at the right time for her.”

However, an insider indicated to Us WeeklyNothing is final.”

Despite Manzo’s possible looming departure, fans of the family matriarch will not have to say their goodbyes just yet.

Bravo has given the green light to a pilot starring Caroline and her family. Manzo’d With Children (working title) will follow the Housewife in her duties as the “ringleader of the crazy circus that is her Italian family.”

Caroline’s sister, Fran, who we met earlier this season on RHONJ, will also be part of the pilot as she continues to bring in stray animals, including a pet pig, to the house.

Interesting enough, The Real Housewives of New Jersey may be undergoing a sibling swap.

Marked by the impending departure of her estranged sister, Dina Manzo may be returning to the show In Touch Magazine reports.

Dina is “in serious talks” to return to the hit reality series after a three-season hiatus. “The timing is perfect,” a source told In Touch.

“Dina Manzo’s return to the show is all but a done deal,” another source explained.

The changes coming to The Real Housewives of New Jersey cast do not stop there.

Rumor has it, friend to the site Jacqueline Laurita has gotten the pink slip from the network following the lack of a storyline and cannoli maven Kathy Wakile has been demoted to a “Friend of the Housewives”. 

Reality Tea suggests that producers felt that once the feuding between Kathy and cousin Teresa Giduice died down, Kathy was unable to hold viewer’s attention. In addition, they reveal that the only reason for Kathy’s presence on the show next season is because producers do not want to loose her sister Rosie! Ouch.

A new full-time Housewife may also be added to the mix, RumourFix revealed. Could it finally be one of Housewives friends? Cough Cough, Kim D, Cough Cough.

As of now, The Real Housewives of New Jersey has not officially been renewed for a sixth season. The new season is tentatively slated to begin filming by December; however, no cast contracts have yet been offered by Bravo.

The show’s future may be more uncertain now than it has been in the past, given Teresa and Joe Giudice’s legal troubles.

Teresa and Joe were indicted this past summer on 39-counts of federal fraud and tax charges that, according to legal experts, may cause them both to serve time in federal prison.

The 39-count indictment details charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud, against the couple.

The indictment also accuses Joe Giudice of failing to file tax returns for 2004 through 2008.

The couple pled not guilty to the charges; however, if convicted Teresa and Joe could each face decades behind bars. Joe even faces being deported to Italy if he is found guilty of just one of the 39 counts in the indictment, prosecutors said — as it emerged recently that he is not a US citizen.

Added to that, Juicy Joe is currently awaiting trial for allegedly impersonating his brother, Pete Giudice, to illegally obtain a driver’s license after his own was suspended for a DWI. He can face up to 10 years in prison for those charges.

The couple will be opening up about their legal woes on a special episode of Watch What Happens Live airing tonight at 9pm EST (Sunday, September 29th) on Bravo. Host Andy Cohen sits down with the reality television stars to discuss their indictment and how they are managing to keep their lives together.

In a sneak preview of the sit-down, an emotional Teresa says she is trying to stay strong for their children.

I can’t fall apart, Andy. I have my daughters, they mean the world to me … maybe something that my daughters can learn from this is that my mom was really strong through all of this and was there for us and I hope they always have that with them,” Teresa said wiping away tears.

Season five of The Real Housewives of New Jersey will come to a close as viewers witness parts of the fireworks that shot off at Kim D’s Posche 2 grand opening.

A brawl involving RHONJ cast members broke out at the event, which took place earlier this year, and footage from that evening will be featured in tonight’s season finale.

Jacqueline Laurita, Chris Laurita and Joe Gorga were all charged with assault following the brawl after a lawsuit was filed by Penny Drossos’s husband,  Johnny Karagiorgis.

According to NorthJersey.com, a deal was brokered between the cast-members’ lawyers and Johnny Karagiorgis’ attorney this week and the charges were dropped.

A judge signed off on the deal in court on September 26th and dismissed the charges.

Don’t miss the season five finale tonight, Sunday, September 29th, at 8pm EST followed by the Teresa and Joe Giudice Watch What Happens Live special at 9pm EST.

And mark your calendars for the 90-minute Reunion Part 1 on Sunday, October 6th at 8pm EST.

Tell us— What do you think of the RHONJ Season Six cast changes? Leave a comment below and voice your opinion! Your email will never be sold or shared.

 

 

 

Sparkle Speaks 2013

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I can hardly believe it, but it’s been over a year since I first attended Sparkle Speaks, This also means I have known Jacqueline, Caroline and the Laurita/Manzo families for that long. They are quite a phenomenon in that so much of what they do really is a family affair. This is not a show for the cameras ladies and gents, this is very real and the Sparkle Speaks for Autism events are the proof.

Sparkle Speaks are yearly charity dinners coordinated by the Laurita nieces; Candice Laurita (daughter of Caroline’s brother Anthony Laurita) and Cristina Granelli (daughter in law of Caroline’s sister Cookie Laurita Rooney). The cousins work diligently through their joint event planning company, The Sparkling Event, to fill the tables with guests and drum up prizes for the raffles. This year the prizes included two vacations which a pregnant Candice, who is expecting her second child in December, was very excited about.

There are no Bravo cameras rolling during these events. The focus is strictly on helping Autism Speaks which is the most prevalent organization for funding research and programs for Spectrum Disorders. Michael Ginagregorio, chairman of Long Island’s Autism Speaks chapter, spoke as eloquently as he did last year. His recollection of what he has been through with his son Nicholas as well as how the organization was founded was informative and from the heart. Also speaking from the heart was Jacqueline who could not hold back tears when talking about her own son Nicholas and what her family has been through on this journey. She joked that by now we probably all knew that she was both a crier and a nervous public speaker.

What was different from last year’s event was the venue. Though still overflowing with family effort and presence; (both Cookie and Anthony were helping the girls check in guests, and another uncle crooned Sinatra hits) this year’s dinner was not held at Albert Manzo’s Brownstone. Instead the festivities were held at the Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park, NJ. No worries, there’s been no Caroline falling out. The red headed Manzo matriarch was there with daughter Lauren during the cocktail hour. I had a chance to congratulate her on her pilot to which she modestly responded “Thank you” and “we’ll see” when I stated that I think it will be a switch to the lighthearted fun that reality TV fans are currently craving.

Jacqueline looked a bit different. Aside from her plastic surgery, which we witnessed on season 5 of RHONJ, she is also sporting a shorter hairstyle. Falling just below her shoulders her chestnut locks looked full and shiny. Though she’s still a little unsure of the length I think it looks fabulous on her! Jac was in good spirits as was her husband Chris. Both of them listened intently as other parents shared with them their own stories about raising children with Autism and other Spectrum Disorders. There was very little talk about RHONJ from what I witnessed. This was also a week before the rumored season 6 cast shake up which will supposedly bump Jacqueline to Housewife friend status. I’m sure next time I speak with her I’ll get some answers for all of you regarding that. In the meantime, check out the pictures and tell us what you think of Jac’s new do!

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