Dotdash Meredith and Yahoo Inc. may earn commission or revenue on some items through the links below.
As Cohen opened up about Rinna's departure news on Monday while hosting SiriusXM's Andy Cohen Live, he called it a "big reshuffle of the deck" going into season 13. The 54-year-old also praised Rinna, 59, for her role in shaping the Bravo hit into what it is today.
"First you've gotta give props to Lisa Rinna for being, by the way, eight years," said Cohen, who is the show's executive producer. "I was surprised when she said it was the longest job she's ever had. But then I wasn't, because eight years on a series for an actor. I mean, she's a working actor. She's been an actor. Usually, you don't get a part on a show that goes for eight years. So this is a reality show, and that is a testament to how compelling Lisa Rinna is to watch on television that she went eight years."
The Watch What Happens Live host continued, "Think of all the memes that Lisa Rinna has generated. Think of all the gifs she's generated. I remember when DVF [Diane Von Furstenberg] came out with a book, and I think she called it 'Own It.' And I was like, 'Oh, Lisa Rinna says...' I was like telling DVF. I was like, 'That's Lisa Rinna's thing."
Bryan Bedder/Getty; Amy Sussman/Getty
Upon continuing to point out how Rinna "has been really a huge part of Beverly Hills," Cohen expressed his desire to see the actress return someday.
"I really do hope that this is a pause. I hope she will come back. I really do," he said. "I've talked to Tamra [Judge] about this a lot. Tamra, ultimately said to me before she came back to this, she said, 'You know what? My time away from the show kind of helped me as a person.' And she said, 'I think it was actually really positive to leave and get some air and step back.' So I just hope that Lisa will humor us and comes back."
As co-host John Hill said that it's good for "people to go maybe and live some life" before returning, Cohen agreed and responded: "That's what I'm saying."
"We used to really pause between seasons. We, I remember, in the old days when we weren't churning them out like we are now, we would say to the Orange County Housewives like, 'Okay, we'll come back with cameras in five months,'" Cohen continued. "And when we came back, things were different. People had different hair-dos, things had changed in their lives. So I do hope that this is a pause, because I always enjoyed Lisa Rinna on my TV."
Rinna confirmed her departure from RHOBH in a statement shared with PEOPLE on Jan. 5.
"This is the longest job I have held in my 35 year career and I am grateful to everyone at Bravo and all those involved in the series," the Rinna Beauty founder said. "It has been a fun eight-year run and I am excited for what is to come!"
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories
Cindy Ord/Bravo via Getty
Rinna had a rough go of it in her final season. She notably feuded with costars Sutton Stracke and Kathy Hilton, though she also dealt with the death of her mother Lois while filming. Her online antics later resulted in her generating backlash from fans.
When initially asked about her future thereafter, Rinna told E! News: "We'll see."
"We're just gonna see what happens, whatever God has in store for us," she added. "We never know. You never know."