You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bravo Has New Boss, But Programming Remains Intact

NBCUniversal net to develop three scripted series to add to reality fare

Bravo may have a new corporate supervisor at NBCUniversal, but the popular cabler’s programming tone looks to remain intact.

Known best, perhaps, for its unscripted programs centered on outsize and madcap personalities, Bravo expects to air 35 original series over the next programming year, including several docuseries. Bravo will develop a few scripted programs as well, executives from the network said during a Tuesday presentation to the media.

Bravo said the slate for the coming season features the  largest number of original programs to date, up 15% on 2012. The network has found success by mining an audience of what it calls “affluencers” – high-income, highly-educated viewers in their 30s and 40s who are passionate about adult leisuretime activities, including food, fashion, beauty, design and popular culture. Executives said the network has seen its ratings among adults 18 to 49 rise 5% and its ratings among adults 25 to 54 rise 7%, per Nielsen, year to date.

Under a recent corporate restructuring at NBCUniversal, Bravo is now under the supervision of Bonnie Hammer, chairman of the cable-entertainment group and a respected programmer in the TV industry who is behind the rise of sister outlets like USA and SyFy. Bravo’s rise took palce under the eye of Lauren Zalaznick, who in February was given oversight of the company’s digital properties while Hammer’s aegis was expanded to include all of NBCU’s entertainment-focused cable networks.

In a brief interview, Bravo’s top executive, Frances Berwick, said she didn’t believe viewers would notice any change in the look of the network’s programming. While Bravo, Style, Oxygen and E! all skew female, they all hone in on particular demographics, she said. “I think we all stay in our lanes,” said Berwick, who is president of operations for Bravo and Style.

Bravo executives confirmed new-season orders for “Flipping Out,” “Tabatha Takes Over,” “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles,” “Top Chef Masters” and “Million Dollar Listing New York.” Other network mainstays that will return include the “Real Housewives” series, with the New York, Atlanta, Beverly Hills and Miami editions all intact. “Watch What Happens Live,” and “Inside the Actors Studio” will also both return.

Bravo will introduce some new docuseries  including an ambitious effort called “Newlyweds: The First Year.” The show followed four couples from their “I do” moment to their first anniversary, with Lauren Lazin capturing it all.

“Southern Charm” looks at the modern-day aristocracy of Charleston, South Carolina. “Extreme Guide to Parenting” focuses on households with  unorthodox but hard-core beliefs about raising children. “Thicker Than Water: The Tankards” offers a look at former basketball pro-turned-gospel singer Ben Tankard and his blended family and their efforts to expand his ministry. “Princesses: Long Island” is more or less what you might expect – a look at six young women from Great Neck, Long Island, who move back to their parents’ estates.

Other new series include “Below Deck,” a look at “yachties” who live and work together on a privately owned yacht; “Divorce Diva,” a series centered on an outspoken divorce mediator, Vikki Ziegler; and “Two Fit Girls,” which depicts two web entrepreneurs trying to grow their digital fitness venture.

Bravo said it has three scripted projects in development. These include: “Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, a one-hour dramedy based on a book series that chronicles a newly separated author starting single life in her 40s; “Heiresses,” a one-hour drama that follows a wealthy family whose  fortune is built on the diamond trade and which must navigate through a possible family curse; and “High and Low,” a 1980s period drama seen through the eyes of two rival brothers who open a popular restaurant together.

Bravo will launch three transmedia vehicles that involve multiple stories that take place across various forms of media. The first will be part of “Top Chef Masters,” and will feature a digital competition that runs parallel to the show and which can affect the outcome of the series. Bravo plans to run “The Real Housewives Awards,” which will let fans vote on categories such as “Best Heels” and “Hottest Hubby” across all editions of the popular series.

More TV

  • Jan Guillou's 'The Great Century' Being

    Jan Guillou's 'The Great Century' Being Adapted as Epic Drama Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    “The Great Century” is being adapted as an epic drama series by Dramacorp-Pampas Studios, which has landed the rights to Swedish author Jan Guillou’s book series. Guillou is known for his “Hamilton” spy-thriller novels, which Dramacorp-Pampas Studios has brought to TV as “Agent Hamilton.” That project had an international premiere at Mipcom and has presold [...]

  • Lilly Burns Tony Hernandez

    Variety to Honor Jax Media Chiefs Tony Hernandez, Lilly Burns at New Leaders Event

    Emmy Award-winning producer Tony Hernandez and Emmy-nominated producer Lilly Burns will receive the Creative Leadership Award on behalf of Jax Media at the Variety New Leaders event presented by City National Bank, taking place Nov. 14 in New York City. As founders of Jax Media, Hernandez and Burns have produced shows and specials such as [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Virginia Leith, Female Lead in Stanley Kubrick's First Film, Dies at 94

    Actress and model Virginia Leith, who starred in Stanley Kubrick’s first film “Fear and Desire,” which he later disavowed, has died. She was 94. According to family spokesperson Jane Chalmers, Leith died after a brief illness at her home in Palm Springs, Calif. on Nov. 4. Born on Oct. 15, 1925, Leith met Kubrick in [...]

  • Friends

    'Friends' Reunion Special in Early Planning Stages at HBO Max

    More “Friends” could well be there for you when the HBO Max rain starts to fall. An unscripted “Friends” reunion special is in the works at the forthcoming WarnerMedia streamer, Variety has confirmed with sources. Sources say original cast members Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer are in discussions [...]

  • TC3_SM_060718_238A4600.cr2

    'The Crown' New Season: Netflix to Offer Opening Episode for Free in the U.K.

    When Olivia Colman steps into the royal shoes of Queen Elizabeth II, viewers in the U.K. and Ireland will be able to watch for free as Netflix makes the eagerly awaited Season 3 curtain-raiser available gratis. The streaming giant will launch the series opener on a dedicated site for a limited period starting Sunday, making it [...]

  • T.R. Knight

    TV News Roundup: T.R. Knight Joins HBO Max's 'The Flight Attendant'

    In today’s TV news roundup, “Grey’s Anatomy” star T.R. Knight joins HBO Max’s “The Flight Attendant” and BET renewed “Games People Play.” CASTING T.R Knight has been cast in HBO Max‘s dark comedy “The Flight Attendant.“ Knight will play Cassie’s (Kaley Cuoco) older brother, Davey. When Cassie’s life starts to unravel, Davey deals with the [...]

  • Days of Our Lives Bill Hayes

    'Days of Our Lives' Cast Members Released From Contracts

    The entire cast of the NBC soap opera “Days of Our Lives” have been released from their contracts, Variety has confirmed. The daytime drama has run for over 13,000 episodes since first debuting in 1965. The show will go on hiatus at the end of November, though it has shot enough episodes to last through the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content