Jeana Keough may not be featured on The Real Housewives of Orange County any longer, but during a recent interview, she revealed she was actually the inspiration behind the entire Real Housewives franchise. Speaking to Oprah Winfrey for her OWN Network series, Keough revealed new details regarding the moments leading up to the first episode of the Bravo reality show.

"The producer, Scott Dunlop, wrote the show about my family," Keough revealed to Winfrey, according to a report by All About the Tea on August 21.

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"He was my next-door neighbor. When he started pitched the idea, he filmed us and sent it to Bravo. They said, ‘Yeah, we like it, but let’s see some other families.’”

The very first episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County aired in March of 2006 and featured a full-time cast, which included Jeana Keough, Vicki Gunvalson, Jo de la Rosa, Lauri Peterson (formerly Lauri Waring) and Kimberly Bryant. Then, during season two, Bryant left the show and was replaced by Tammy Knickerbocker. Ever since, the cast has been evolving and currently includes a number of new wives, including Heather Dubrow, Shannon Beador, Tamra Judge, Meghan King Edmonds and Kelly Dodd.

Jeana Keough claims 'RHOC' was a hit due to a writers' strike

According to Jeana Keough, the first season of the show was a big hit, namely due to the fact that a writers' strike was taking place and their wasn't much else to watch. In the years that followed, the Real Housewives franchise expanded with casts in New York City, Atlanta, Miami, Beverly Hills, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Dallas and the Potomac.

While the Real Housewives franchises in Miami and Washington D.C. were ultimately canceled due to lackluster ratings, the rest have continued to be a success for Bravo.

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They've also resulted in several spinoff series, including Kim Zolciak's Don't Be Tardy and Bethenny Frankel's Bethenny Ever After, as well as Lisa Vanderpump's Vanderpump Rules, Kandi Buruss' The Kandi Factory and Caroline Manzo's Manzo'd With Children.