Bravo Likes New Shows' Buzz - Broadcasting & Cable

Bravo Likes New Shows' Buzz

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Bravo President Jeff Gaspin wants to set this straight: His NBC-owned network is not morphing into a channel for gay men. Bravo does, however, have two new talked-about reality shows that center on gay men.

Gaspin doesn't mind that his upcoming series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Boy Meets Boy, both debuting in July, have grabbed headlines. He hoped these originals would get people talking about Bravo. Under former owners Rainbow Media and MGM, high-brow Bravo didn't generate much buzz.

"We knew we'd get the most attention for these two shows," Gaspin said, "But we didn't go in saying 'I want this to be a gay network.'"

Showtime is looking to launch a pay gay channel, and MTV may produce some programming for the service.

Gaspin says Bravo's shows are inspired by the lifestyle and dating formats that are working on other networks.

On Queer Eye, which bows July 15 at 10 p.m. ET, five gay men, experts in such areas as fashion, design, and food and wine, "make over" a straight man. Boy Meets Boy
is a Bachelor-esque gay dating show with a bachelor pool of both straight and gay men.

For all the attention, Gaspin notes, Queer Eye
and Boy Meets Boy
are just two hours of programming per week on a network that airs nearly 24/7.

There's more to Bravo than that, he says. Bravo has a new deal for arty Miramax movies like Good Will Hunting, and off-net episodes of The West Wing
arrive in August. Inside the Actors Studio
is still chugging along, and NBC's new reality hit Fame
is being repurposed on Bravo. For summer, there is a batch of original specials, including one on TV's greatest characters.

Queer Eye
was already in development when NBC took over Bravo last December. Gaspin, who also oversees reality programming for NBC, greenlighted Boy Meets Boy, which debuts later in July and will likely run with Queer Eye.

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