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Clothes off, claws on for 'Real Housewives of NYC'

THE SHOW "The Real Housewives of New York City"

WHEN | WHERE Season premiere Thursday at 11 p.m. on Bravo. Moves to its regular slot (10 p.m. Thursdays) next week.

REASON TO WATCH Catfights!

WHAT IT'S ABOUT This is the third and possibly most backbiting season of "The Real Housewives of New York City." First, ever-popular Jill Zarin and pregnant and in-love Bethenny Frankel are no longer BFFs. Frankel is, in the meantime, so angry at newly divorced Countess LuAnn de Lesseps that she calls the statuesque former model "a dumb drag queen."

PHOTOS: 'The Real Housewives of NYC'  on TV and red carpet

PHOTOS: Homes of 'The Real Housewives of NYC'

Hot off the boyfriend-beating scandal of last summer, Kelly Killoren Bensimon now has to break the news to her offspring that she's posing for Playboy. (In fact, all the gals have to explain the decision to undress to their young daughters.) And, speaking of kids, there's Alex McCord, the parenting author who not only loses her job at Victoria's Secret but has to endure insults about her sons' behavior. At least no one called her "cheap," like the others did of a kinder, sweeter Ramona Singer.

There are two new housewives - Sonja Morgan and Jennifer Gilbert. It's unclear from the premiere how big a role they will play in all this drama, but chances are it will be significant. None of these women lets another woman leave their sight without a painful dig.

BOTTOM LINE Their time in the limelight obviously has primed these "Real Housewives" to really let it loose on TV.

GRADE A

PHOTOS: 'The Real Housewives of NYC'  on TV and red carpet

PHOTOS: Homes of 'The Real Housewives of NYC'

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