Shows include '22 Birthdays,' 'Blowing Sunshine'
Bravo is making good on its promise to move into scripted programming.The cabler unveiled a pair of scripted projects in development on Wednesday prior to its evening upfront presentation at a loft space in Chelsea. Bravo Media prexy Frances Berwick also talked up its double-digit increase in original programming for the coming year with orders of 11 new and eight returning unscripted skeins. It was no surprise that the network known for the “Top Chef” franchise presented an eclectic party spread that included roasted duck with mac and cheese (dubbed “quack and cheese”) and gazpacho chasers. While “Shahs of Sunset” stars mingled with “Real Housewives” personalities, the cabler showcased a short sizzle reel that teased a slew of new shows on deck for the coming year. Given the upfront’s spectacle value, Bravo once again turned the upfront’s after-party into a programming stunt for its “Watch What Happens: Live” latenight series (though it did not, in fact, air live). “This is the most messed up Golden Globes I’ve ever seen,” quipped Kathy Griffin during the taping. “I’m ready to start drinking.” Bravo’s plan is to bow one scripted series in 2013. Universal Cable Prods. and Hypnotic are fielding “22 Birthdays,” centering on a group of parents at an exclusive private school, with each seg revolving around a lavish birthday party. Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein penned the pilot and will exec produce with Hypnotic’s Doug Liman and Dave Bartis. The second project is “Blowing Sunshine,” from “Burn Notice” scribe Jason Ning, focusing on the staff and patients at a private rehabilitation center. On the unscripted front, Bravo is devoting more of its on-air attention to personalities in the digital world, as digital becomes one of its programming categories, along with its staples of food, fashion, beauty, design and pop culture. The centerpiece of the digital push will be the new series “Silicon Valley,” focusing on aspiring young entrepreneurs in the cradle of digital civilization. Series comes from Den of Thieves, with Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager serving as exec producers alongside Internet entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg. Another frosh entry, “Huh,” takes a behind-the-scenes look at the staffers at Internet vid site icanhascheezburger.com, run by Ben Huh. Among other new shows, the latest “Top Chef” spinoff “Life After Top Chef,” takes the cameras outside of the kitchen and into the lives of past cheftestants. Also on deck is “Below Deck,” an upstairs-downstairs take on the world of “yachties,” and “SUR,” which centers on “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” player Lisa Vanderpump and her Hollyw ood restaurant and lounge, SUR. Rounding out the new offerings is “Miss Advised” from Ashley Tisdale’s Blondie Girl Prods., “Newlyweds: The First Year,” “Gallery Girls,” “L.A. Shrinks,” “Decades” and “The Kandi Factory,” which centers on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s” Kandi Burruss and her pop music star aspirations. Bravo also confirmed new season orders for “Flipping Out” Season 6, “Tabatha Takes Over” Season 5 and “Million Dollar Decorators” Season 2 as well as a new outing for “Top Chef Masters,” “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles” and “Pregnant in Heels,” which will premiere on May 15. Meanwhile, “Inside The Actors Studio” will mark its 18th season with a “Glee”-themed episode on Monday.