Danger in the Dorm, the Lifetime acting debut of Real Housewives star Bethenny Frankel, is airing tonight

 Bethenny Frankel in Danger in the Dorm.
Credit: Lifetime

TV fans are used to seeing the likes of Lisa Rinna, Denise Richards and NeNe Leakes on the Bravo network as stars of The Real Housewives franchise, but the reality personalities have recently adopted a new job title: Lifetime actress. (The ladies appeared in the TV movies Mommy Meanest and Hunting Housewives, respectively.) And now one of their Bravo brethren is following in their footsteps, with former The Real Housewives of New York City castmate Bethenny Frankel starring in Danger in the Dorm tonight on the network.

Directed by Robin Hays (How She Caught a Killer, Let's Get Physical), the new Lifetime thriller—which premieres Sunday, June 16 at 8pm Eastern Time—was reportedly inspired by one of Ann Rule's earliest true crime works. Danger in the Dorm "tells the story of Kathleen (Clara Alexandrova) after the tragic murder of her childhood best friend and fellow classmate, Becky," per the movie's official synopsis. "Now, she must shed her rebellious youthful spirit in order to catch a killer who’s preying on young girls around campus, even as her mother, Joanne (Bethnney Frankel), tries to protect Kathleen from suffering the same fate as her friend."

Though Frankel is best known as the quick-witted, sharp-tongued original cast member of the RHONY franchise (she starred in eight of the show's 14 seasons since its 2008 premiere, leaving the program in 2019), she does have some acting credits to her name. She appeared in the 1994 thriller Hollywood Hills 90028 and the 1995 flick Wish Me Luck and popped up in the ABC sitcom The Neighbors in 2013.

She segued from her brief acting career into a long reality television career, which has included being the runner-up of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, starring in several RHONY spinoffs including Bethenny Ever After and Bethenny & Fredrik, and hosting her own TV shows including the Fox daytime talk show Bethenny and the HBO Max reality competition The Big Shot with Bethenny. 

As for deciding to return to acting and join the Lifetime network, Frankel told the Boston Herald: “I used to watch Lifetime as a kid. I didn’t know the extent of the part. I just said yes to this role which seemed like such an outlandish request.” And regarding her own performance, the reality star joked: “I’m the first one to say if it’s not good. I got the chills when I watched my trailer. I was like, ‘I think I’m pretty good!’ It was a journey. And a quest. Now I have so much respect for actors and crews. There is so much work you do not see.”

See Bethenny Frankel in the official trailer for Danger in the Dorm above before tuning in for the new Lifetime thriller tonight. Those with cable packages can watch on their local Lifetime channel, but cable-cutters can also tune in online with a live TV streaming service that carries Lifetime, such as FuboHulu with Live TVSling TV and Philo TV.