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Bravo bullish on programming

Cabler adds 11 new series to mix

Bravo is making a hefty investment in its original programming, boosting the slate by 20% with 15 series pickups.

In addition, the NBCUniversal cabler has renewed five existing series: “Top Chef: Just Desserts,” “Bethenny Ever After,” “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover” and the Atlanta and Beverly Hills versions of its “Real Housewives” franchise.

The network held simultaneous upfronts Wednesday in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, hitting the ad community all at once, while also telecasting the event. At the upfront, Bravo said it added more than 150 advertisers in 2010 through both on-the-air and digital offerings.

There’s reason for optimism at the femme-skewing cabler. In first-quarter results, Bravo saw a 28% improvement in total viewers vs. the same quarter a year ago. Growth was even more impressive in the 18-34 and 18-49 demos, with 40% and 35% jumps, respectively.

A majority of the new Bravo skeins fall into the fashion, therapy and dating categories. In that fashion mix are “It’s a Brad Brad Brad World,” which centers on former Rachel Zoe assistant Brad Goreski as he goes into business for himself, and “Mad Fashion,” about celebrity fashion designer Chris March.