Bravo Adds Third Night of Originals


Bravo is expanding from two to three nights of original programming. Beginning this summer, the network will start programming originals on Thursday nights in addition to Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In announcing the new night at their upfront show for press today (April 11), Bravo executives touted their audience's high concentration of wealthy viewers and unveiled plans for new series about luxury travel, high-class hotels and millionaire singles, and an awards show for the arts.

Bravo President Lauren Zalaznick has talked of expanding to a third night of originals throughout the network's run of success with its Tuesday/Wednesday strategy. While the network doesn't come close to cracking the top ten cable channels in the ratings - it tied for 22nd in the 18-49 demographic during first quarter primetime, according to Nielsen - it has posted consistent year-to-year gains (up 19% to 336,000 viewers 18-49 in prime first quarter).

Plus, its audience is highly concentrated as young, upscale viewers - a group the network is now calling "The Affluencers." Zalaznick has pushed NBC U-owned Bravo as the "number one most upscale cable entertainment network—period," but the audience moniker is new. So is officially having its ad sales team focus on the 18-49 demographic, rather than 25-54; executives announced the shift at the upfront.

Bravo's new slate of programming is clearly designed to target those upscale viewers. New greenlighted shows include First Class All the Way, a docu-drama about a woman who runs a luxury travel concierge business (from Stone and Company);  Welcome to the Parker (Snackaholic Productions), a show, previously announced as having been in development, about the behind-the-scenes culture at the luxe Parker Palm Springs hotel; and Millionaire Matchmaker (Intuitive Entertainment, Bayonne Entertainment), a docu-drama about a dating service for single sugardaddies.

The network also picked up a second season of Flipping Out (Authentic Entertainment), a docu-drama about a hot-headed professional real estate-flipper, as well as previously announced new seasons of Top Chef (summer 2007), Project Runway (fourth quarter), Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List (June 5 at 10 p.m.) and Inside the Actors Studio and Million Dollar Listing.

Bravo will also devote an awards show special next year to the arts, including acting, fashion, food and design. The Bravo Icon Awards are slated to tape in New York for a March, 2008 debut.