'Real Housewives,' Mizrahi among those returning to net
Bravo arrives at today’s Gotham upfront with “Project Runway” far in its rearview mirror.The fashion skein was the No. 1 show on the cabler before moving over to Lifetime following a lengthy legal battle. But its success may have been eclipsed by the “Real Housewives” phenomenon. The just-completed second season of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” was the highest-rated “Housewives” season ever, averaging 2.32 million adults in the 18-49 and 3.26 million total viewers. Season three is set to go into production with the season-two cast intact. In addition, last week’s season-five finale of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” drew a healthy 2.45 million. Network will announce that Isaac Mizrahi will be back as host for season two of “The Fashion Show.” Skein, which Bravo looked at as a replacement for viewers looking for their “Runway” fix, earned fewer eyeballs — averaging about a million viewers for the 12 episodes — but was deemed healthy enough to earn a second-season pickup by g.m. Frances Berwick. Among the shows Bravo announced at January’s Television Critics Assn. confab that are looking for start dates are “Real Housewives of New York” star Bethenny Frankel in “Bethenny’s Getting Married,” which examines how she balances her professional and personal lives. Also, Bravo — in trying to stay on target with its fashion, beauty, food, design and pop culture categories — will reteam with “Project Runway” shingle Magical Elves on “Top Chef: Just Desserts.” Elves and Bravo have collaborated on the “Top Chef” franchise since the series launched four years ago. Season seven of “Top Chef” goes into production next month. Magical Elves also produces “Kell on Earth,” starring fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone, which is currently in the middle of its first season.