Bravo is expanding its development slate with concept-driven projects that focus on work and relationship trials and tribulations.
All the shows are candidates to launch on the cabler in 2011, with the hope that the formats could create household names like Rachel Zoe of “The Rachel Zoe Project.”
“We’re always looking for characters who could be signature talent on Bravo,” said development veep Eli Lehrer, promoted to the job in July, “and we felt like a number of these characters had both the dynamic personalities we look for and the expertise in really interesting and unique fields that we thought would resonate with our viewers.”
Among the series will be “L.A. Therapists,” which follows the casework and personal lives of the title characters, making good use of the irony that those solving other people’s problems have problems of their own. Kevin Dill and Mechelle Collins are exec producing for Intuitive Entertainment.
“The concept did come first,” Lehrer said. “We found that therapy has been a key component in a number of shows we’ve done and something our viewers have been fascinated by, so we thought building a show around a number of therapists and delving a little deeper … was something we really hadn’t seen in unscripted TV.”
Similarly, “Miss Advised” looks at both the personal and professional lives of three relationship gurus. Ashley Tisdale, the “High School Musical” vet co-starring in the CW’s “Hellcats,” is exec producing with Jessica Rhoades through Blondie Girl Prods. with Tom Forman (RelativityReal). The two shingles signed a multiyear producing deal nearly a year ago.
“We’ve already cast a net and found characters (who are) both experts in their field and simultaneously very relatable to viewers,” Lehrer said. “This show is about, ‘Can they practice what they preach?’ ”
Further down the relationship spectrum — a compelling area for Bravo, thanks to the success of “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” is “The Proposal Planner,” featuring stories of men who play consultant Sarah Pease upward of $50,000 to craft memorable marriage proposals on their behalf, and “What If,” about women reconsidering the fellas who got away. Michael Morrisey is exec producing the former; Reveille’s Mark Kopps and Howard Owens the latter.Also working its way through the development process is “The Headhuntress,” telling tales of cuthroat corporate recruiter Wendy Doulton and her staff. Roy Banks, Ron Ward and Tracey Trench are exec producing for Merv Griffin Entertainment.
The quintet extends the number of shows Bravo has announced in development this month from four to nine. A week ago, Bravo said it was working on beauty-salon-set “Dean’s List,” fashion design-focused “The Chris March Show,” catering skein “Roble & Co.,” and the real-life modern family doings of “Thicker Than Water.”
“We feel like these are strong, resonant concepts,” Lehrer said.