“The Real Housewives of Atlanta ”Sets Cast for Season 16 After Shakeup: Meet the New Housewives

Bravo's hit franchise is undergoing a refresh ahead of its next season

<p>AB+DM/Bravo via Getty</p> The Season 15 cast of

AB+DM/Bravo via Getty

The Season 15 cast of 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta': Drew Sidora, Marlo Hampton, Shereé Whitfield, Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore, Sanya Richards Ross

The Real Housewives of Atlanta finally has its cast set for season 16!

The long-running series has undergone a major cast shakeup, with just two stars from last season — Kenya Moore and Drew Sidora — returning as Housewives when production picks up again this month.

Joining them will be Porsha Williams, who is coming back to the show after a two-season absence (and amid a messy divorce from estranged-husband Simon Guobadia).

Her return came with an overall talent deal with NBCUniversal to partner on scripted project opportunities across the company’s broadcast and streaming properties. "I'm incredibly thankful for the vision and faith NBCUniversal has put in me to be a larger part of their family,” she said in a statement in February. "I’m looking forward to being back on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and showing the world my new world!"

Porsha Williams and Kenya Moore at BravoCon 2019
Porsha Williams and Kenya Moore at BravoCon 2019

So who else is in the cast? On Tuesday, May 14, Bravo released the other names. They include author, businesswoman and podcast host Brittany Eady, restauranter and Food Network alum Kelli Ferrell, and Angela Oakley, wife of NBA great Charles Oakley.

Shamea Morton Mwangi, who has appeared on the show in a guest and friend role dating back to season 5, has been upgraded to a full-time Housewife.

In a Friend role will be a familiar face to the franchise: supermodel Cynthia Bailey, who was a Housewife from season 3-13, and led the initial cast of Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip.

Production on season 15 begins this month and the series premiere is set for 2025.

<p> David Becker/Getty Images for iHeartRadio</p> Cynthia Bailey in 2023

David Becker/Getty Images for iHeartRadio

Cynthia Bailey in 2023

Exiting RHOA will be Shereé Whitfield, Marlo Hampton and Sanya Richards-Ross. All three joined as full-time Housewives together back in season 14, though Hampton has been a recurring Friend/guest for years while Whitfield was a founding cast member on RHOA when it premiered in 2008 and has appeared as Housewife on multiple seasons since.

As PEOPLE broke the news of Hampton's exit, the reality said in a statement shared with PEOPLE: "My contract with Real Housewives of Atlanta ended when season 15 wrapped. This break from RHOA is a fresh start, allowing me the space to participate in new creative entertainment projects focused on my future, and not reliving my past."

Kandi Burruss also won't be returning, leaving RHOA after 14 consecutive years on the show. She revealed she was leaving the show at the 2024 Grammys, telling reporters that she had received a contract but had made the decision to step away in order to focus on other projects.

"I put myself on pause," she told PEOPLE exclusively at the 2024 People's Choice Awards, hinting that she hopes to come back to the series one day. "They didn't have to put my on pause, I put myself on pause."

"I just started working on other things, and I was excited about the other things that I was working on," she added. "I loved the fact that I was making deals and doing all this stuff without this stress. I was just like if there's ever a time to step out and just try other things, it is now, because I was already doing a lot while doing this show, but it's only so much you can do while you're filming the show. This time I said, 'I'm just going to go all the way out.'"

Related: Kandi Burruss Admits She Doesn't See a Return to 'RHOA' 'in My Near Future' — but 'Never Say Never'

<p>MICHAEL TRAN/AFP via Getty Images</p> Kandi Burruss at the 2024 People's Choice Awards

MICHAEL TRAN/AFP via Getty Images

Kandi Burruss at the 2024 People's Choice Awards

Related: Phaedra Parks Digs at Ex-RHOA Costars as She Joins Married to Medicine: 'These Women Have Jobs' (Exclusive)

Production on season 16 of RHOA has been on delayed for the past few months as Bravo and producers from Truly Original restructured the cast.

Once a ratings juggernaut for the network, the show's popularity has been waining in previous seasons, something many blame on conflicting casting dynamics. While some expected a Real Housewives of New York City-style reboot wouldn't be coming, executive producer Andy Cohen explained at BravoCon 2023 in November that the show would be using certain stars as as anchors for a new incarnation.

"I always love building with what we have," he said at the time. "I think Atlanta has some really strong building blocks that are already there and we have a growth opportunity for Atlanta."

<p>Astrid Stawiarz/Bravo via Getty</p> Andy Cohen at BravoCon 2022

Astrid Stawiarz/Bravo via Getty

Andy Cohen at BravoCon 2022

In February, Cohen, 55, opened up about the future of the franchise while discussing Williams' return on his Radio Andy SiriusXM channel.

"We've got wonderful casting," he said. "We've got some amazing new gals, and this is gonna feel, I'm feeling very positive about the new season of Atlanta, so just standby and you will hear more."

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Previous episodes of The Real Housewives of Atlanta can be streamed on Peacock.

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