Carlos King on his ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ reunion special, NeNe Leakes’ absence

Exclusive: The reality TV producer recently had the OG cast on his late-night show, 'The Nightcap with Carlos King,' and broke down with theGrio how the special happened.

The “King” of Reality TV’s kingdom just got even bigger!

Carlos King, known for producing some of the most successful reality TV shows in the genre, has built his own franchise (“Love & Marriage”) on the OWN network and launched a late-night talk show on which he recently reunited the original cast of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” and even has a successful podcast, “Reality With The King.”

TheGrio caught up with King at this year’s American Black Film Festival in Miami, getting exclusive details on how the special came to be, why NeNe Leakes really did not attend, and how special this new era of his career is to him.

Producer Carlos King is behind the reality TV show franchise, “Love & Marriage,” and “The Nightcap with Carlos King.” (Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images)

With so much on his plate, you would think King would run the risk of being spread too thinly, but the producer tells theGrio that he is simply basking in gratitude.

“It’s funny because my team is always like, ‘Are you tired?’ And you know what? Could I take a nap? Sure! But I love it and I am never gonna be one to complain because this is something I wanted for a very long time and because I am so spiritual, I always remind myself that God is not gonna give me more than I can handle!,” King said.

“The biggest thing for me now is compartmentalizing things … I don’t go anywhere on the weekends! A girl sits at home by the pool and I’m sleeping while watching ‘Bling Empire’!”

Launching “The Nightcap with Carlos King” was a lifelong dream realized, King revealed. “I wanted a show like that since I was 12-years-old,” he gushed. “So the fact that 30 years later, to have that be my job, is so much fun and I am having the time of my life. I always thought I would have a daytime show, and the fact that it is late night, I didn’t see it coming but it’s perfect! Late night, you can be racy and for me to have this show on Saturday nights following my franchise, ‘Love & Marriage,’ it’s a love letter to the fans of my show and the reality TV community.”

In his biggest coup yet for the fans, King recently reunited the original cast of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” on “Nightcap,” bringing the women together in the same room for the first time since the first reunion. There was one notable exception, however: NeNe Leakes. While fans have speculated about why the reality TV star didn’t attend the reunion, King cleared up any and all rumors.

Carlos King on the set of “Love & Marriage: Huntsville” Season 3 Reunion
Photo Courtesy of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

“Initially I was like, “OK, maybe I’ll invite NeNe on,” he explained. “But then a producer was like, ‘Instead of isolating one person, why don’t you do something that’s never been done before, which is this surprise reunion with the women you started out with in reality television’?”

King said he then called each original cast member, simply asking each one to attend the show, but not revealing the reunion plans. While Kim Zolciak-Biermann, DeShawn Snow, Shereé Whitfield and Lisa Wu each said yes, King noted that Leakes politely declined.

“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” alumna NeNe Leakes reportedly shared some details about her lawsuit against Bravo with TMZ when stopped at LAX. (Photo: Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)

“She said, ‘You know I love you,’ and ‘congratulations, but honestly, with everything going on, I’m not doing any press’.” (As theGrio previously reported, earlier this year, Leakes sued the companies behind “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” alleging that they “fostered and tolerated a hostile and racist work environment.”)

And I said, ‘OK, fine’,” King continued. “She never knew I was doing a reunion, no one knew that!”

King believes the reunion show was part of his destiny. “To this day, I pinch myself because it goes to show you that, I truly was the only one who could pull it off,” he said. “Due to the fact that they never questioned who would be there, and they never got mad at the other people being there and they had a good time. It was a walk down memory lane. What I want to do now is celebrate people who have been on this journey with me.”

King’s hour-long franchises shows, “Love & Marriage: Huntsville” and “Love & Marriage D.C.,” respectively, begin airing at 8 p.m. ET on Saturdays. They are followed at 10 p.m. ET by “The Nightcap with Carlos King.” All air on the OWN network.

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