Bravo Confirms 'Real Housewives Of New York' Cast Shakeup

It's official: Bravo's "Real Housewives of New York" is going to be very different next season.

The network confirmed the news -- first reported by HuffPost Celebrity -- that staple "Housewives" Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Kelly Bensimon and Cindy Barshop will not appear regularly on the fifth season of the hit reality show.

"Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan and LuAnn DeLesseps will be returning for season five of 'The Real Housewives of New York.' We’ve had a fabulous run with all the ladies and appreciate them sharing their lives with our viewers. It is a friendly departure among the other ladies and we continue to have on-going discussions with them," a Bravo spokesperson said in a statement.

According to sources, the axed cast members were notified of the news last Thursday, and that they were blindsided by Bravo's decision.

“[Bravo] wanted to mix things up with fresh blood,” an insider told me. “Add ladies to the cast that better represented New York -- aggressive, powerful, glamorous and very wealthy. Next season 'New York' will have the glamour of the 'Sex and the City' movies rather than the twitter wars and bickering.”