Television: Bravo launching 15 new series
Bravo, the cable reality heavyweight, is inch by inch expanding its program offerings in the scripted arena. The network has announced its forthcoming slate of original programming, which includes 15 new series -- two of which are scripted, one of which is a "real-time" reality series -- and 16 returning series.
The additions come as the NBCUniversal-owned cable network posted bests in key demographics in the first quarter. The network is averaging 1.1 million total viewers and 629,000 adults 18-49 year-to-date, up slightly from the same quarter in 2013.
As Bravo initiates a new incoming class, some of its returning reality students will enroll in summer school. Boat-set "Below Deck" will return for a second season. "Real Housewives of Atlanta" offshoot "Don’t Be Tardy," chronicling Kim Zolciak’s bountiful brood, will get a third season. Real estate-skewed "Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles" returns for a seventh season while across the country, the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" ladies will get dramatic for a sixth season.
And later this fall Bravo will keep up the pace with returns from "Top Chef," "The Millionaire Matchmaker," "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," "Shahs of Sunset," "Vanderpump Rules," "Thicker Than Water," "Blood, Sweat & Heels," "Newlyweds" (which will also get a third season in 2015), and more "Watch What Happens Live" and "Fashion Queens."
The network also announced three unscripted projects in development. One comes from filmmaker Morgan Spurlock: "Gen XYZ" (working title) centers on six women from four different generations, each on the brink of taking their careers in the fashion and beauty industries to the next level. The other series in development look at the luxury travel world, "Tour Group" (working title), and the third would be a live televised estate sale, "Going Going Gone" (working title).
But onto the new series that will roll out on the network in the coming months. Here’s an overview of the slate.
n "Odd Mom Out" -- An original comedy series starring author / fashionista Jill Kargman. In the half-hour comedy, Kargman plays a version of herself living in New York’s Upper East Side.
n "Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce" -- The series is based on the bestselling "Girlfriends’ Guide" book series by Vicki Iovine. The series will follow Abby (Lisa Edelstein), a fortysomething self-help author with a messy personal life.
n "Top Chef Duels" -- The offshoot, hosted by celebrity chef Curtis Stone, brings back 18 contestants from past seasons of "Top Chef" and "Top Chef Masters" for, you guessed it, an extreme version of the two. Stone will head the judges table with Gail Simmons, while chefs Wolfgang Puck and Hugh Acheson and special guests will round out the panel throughout its season.
n "Best New Restaurant" -- "Top Chef" everyman Tom Colicchio hosts the series, which pits 16 new restaurants around the nation against one another, with challenges aimed at uncovering who provides the best all-around experience. The series is modeled after Gordon Ramsay’s UK hit "Ramsay’s Best Restaurant."
n "100 Dates" (working title) -- Still trying to grasp the single life, Bravo offers this series that follows a group of young (and single) New Yorkers as they search for a mate. It’s a real-time production, with each episode shot and aired within the same week.
n "Friends to Lovers?" -- A look at when the "friend zone" is crossed. The show follows multiple sets of friends who have taken the leap of taking their relationships to the next level.
n "Manzo’d with Children" -- What would a Bravo upfront announcement be without some "Real Housewives" spinoff? The series centers on "Real Housewives of New Jersey" mama bear Caroline Manzo and her "crazy Italian family."
n "Euros of Hollywood" -- A look at six European jet-setters transplanted in Los Angeles and trying to make it in America.
n "Ladies of London" (premiering in June) -- Set across the pond, the series follows a group of elite British socialites: Annabelle Neilson and Caroline Stanbury, along with American expats Juliet Angus, Caprice Bourret, Marissa Hermer and Noelle Reno.
n "Game of Crowns" (premiering in July) -- The series follows six pageant mom / wives as they compete in the pageant circuit.
n "Million Dollar Listing Miami" (premiering in June) -- The series extends Bravo’s real estate franchise to Miami.
n "Jersey Belle" -- New Jersey native and Hollywood publicist Jaime Primak Sullivan navigates the challenges of being a Southern belle after getting hitched to a man from Mountain Brook, Ala.
n "The Real Housewives of Atlanta: Kandi’s Wedding" (working title) -- The wedding "Atlanta" viewers never thought would happen finally did (last weekend), and Bravo is taking viewers inside it.
n "Untying the Knot" (premiering in June) -- Each episode features a different divorcing couple who seek the counseling of Vikki Ziegler, as well as expert appraisers Michael and Mark Millea, in the task of dividing assets out of court.
n "Extreme Guide to Parenting" (premiering in July) -- Each episode looks at two different households with unique styles of raising their children.
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