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Bravo big on skeins, pix, ‘Larry’

Cabler ups theatrical pics in first network windows

Bravo has bumped up its budget for original reality series by 30%, greenlighting five newcomers for 2002-03 with commitments for weekly play ranging from six episodes to a maximum of 13.

Speaking to New York-based reporters at an upfront preview of its fall strategy, Ed Carroll, executive VP and general manager of Bravo and its Independent Film Channel sibling, said Bravo would also premiere the 90 rerun half-hours of Columbia TriStar TV’s “The Larry Sanders Show” this fall with very limited editing.

“We’ll allow adult dialogue and mature situations because kids don’t watch Bravo,” Carroll said, adding with a smile, “We’ll edit the show to ‘South Park’ standards.”

However, basic cable still can’t accommodate the word “fuck,” which Carroll said would not be heard on the soundtrack.

Carroll said Garry Shandling, the star of “Sanders,” has gone out of his way to help Bravo market the reruns of the show, taping promos and joining network salespeople on visits to ad-agency buyers.

What’s on slate

The new series in the Bravo mix are:

  • “Second City Presents,” featuring hourlong interviews with Martin Short, Joan Rivers, Tracey Ullman and other comic performers, conducted by the writer Bill Zehme.

  • “Gay Weddings,” consisting of eight half-hour profiles of four gay and lesbian couples.

  • “Based on the Book,” 11 one-hour docus detailing how adapters turned “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Jaws,” “L.A. Confidential” and other novels into successful movies.

  • “Cirque du Soleil: A Fly on the Wall,” 13 half-hours behind the scenes covering the 18 months it takes to create of a new “Cirque” spectacle.

  • “Art Crimes & Mysteries,” six one-hour docus on famous thefts of great paintings.

First bows in summer

“Second City” premieres this summer, “Gay Weddings” bows in August and “Based on the Book” arrives in the fourth quarter. The “Cirque du Soleil” series kicks off in the first quarter of 2003, “Art Crimes” in the second quarter.

These series join three returning Bravo series: “Inside the Actors Studio,” “Musicians” and “The It Factor.” The last-named will shift from New York to Los Angeles and focus on seven young actors as they go about trying to impress casting directors.

Bravo also has bought more theatrical movies in their first network windows than it ever did before. Forthcoming titles include “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Topsy-Turvy,” “End of the Affair” and “I Dreamed of Africa.”

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