Upfronts 2009: Bravo Eyes Scripted Programming
Also picks up four unscripted series
By Marisa Guthrie -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/14/2009 1:53:11 PM
Bravo, which has built its brand on docusoaps and reality competition shows, is developing two scripted series.
Both series adhere to Bravo's core unscripted programming brand of food, fashion, beauty, design and pop culture. Blueprint is a dramedy about best friends - one straight, one gay - who run a hot New York design and architecture firm. Laurence Andries (Six Feet Under) and Leslie Morgenstein and Bob Levy are executive producers.
30 Under 30 - also set in New York - follows several young list makers, including a chef, an artist, a real estate agent and a gossip blogger (which has supplanted gossip newspaper columnist). It's from executive producers Jonathan Prince, (who produced former NBC series Cane and American Dreams as well as A&E's The Cleaner) and Alana Sanko.
The announcement was made at Bravo's Upfront presentation to reporters Tuesday morning at New York's famed Russian Tea Room.
Lauran Zalaznick, president of NBCU Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, opened the event by recounting Bravo's ratings and revenue growth in 2008.
"It's very hard to talk about Bravo in any way but hyperbole," she said.
The network posted double digit revenue growth in 2008, adding 97 new advertisers and also growing its first quarter 2009 ad revenue by 21% compared to Q1 2008. Network executives were talking up AIG Research data that puts Bravo as the top-rated cable network in "commercial message, product placement recall and brand opinion lift."
"We've shifted the network from being a hit-driven to a brand-driven success," said Frances Berwick, executive VP and general manager, Bravo Media.
The network will continue to mine product placement and licensing opportunities, selling Kooba handbags carried by the teenagers featured in NYC Prep and winning designs from The Fashion Show (the Project Runway replacement that bows next month) on its web site.
Additionally, Bravo will expand its web series Watch What Happens, a live interactive series recapping the week's reality developments, to the television network with programming executive Andy Cohen hosting. The network also confirmed a sixth season of Top Chef and a fifth season of The Real Housewives of Orange County.
Bravo announced four new series pickups. American Artist, from Sarah Jessica Parker's production company, is the Project Runway for aspiring art stars. Design Sixx follows Manhattan husband and wife design team Cortney and Robert Novogratz, who have turned many abandoned New York buildings into Architectural Digest-worthy living spaces. Kell on Earth revolves around the frenetic life of fashion and public relations guru Kelly Cutrone, who has been featured in MTV's The Hills. Launch My Line (formerly announced as Celebrity Sew-Off), is fashion design competition for celebrities who always dreamed of being fashion designers. Twin brothers Dean and Dan Caten of DSquared2, will host. Contestants have yet to be announced.
The network also unveiled several series in development including docuseries' about florist to the stars Eric Buterbaugh and fashion designer and mother of six Laura Bennett; Secret Life of Supermodels; Jackie's Gym Takeover, which has Jackie Warner as a Gordon Ramsay-esque fitness club savior; and Social Heights, about New York City high society.
Previously announced series pick-ups include Chef Academy, chronicling chef Jean-Christophe Novelli's move to Los Angeles as he opens a cooking school; Double Exposure, which follows photographers Markus Klinko and Indrani; Miami Social, an unscripted Friends set in Miami; The Real Housewives of New Jersey, which bows May 12 at 11 p.m.; and Top Chef spin-off Top Chef Masters, which premieres June 10 at 10 p.m.
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