In Depth

The Suits: Frances Berwick

General manager, Bravo Media

It wasn’t long ago that Bravo was a sleepy little cable network focused on high culture. Then Frances Berwick decided to take a chance on a new kind of makeover show. “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” was born—and, in the process, Bravo was reborn as a pop-culture powerhouse.

TVWeek’s Real Power

“Queer Eye” was in the works even before NBC Universal’s purchase of Bravo in 2002. There’s no underestimating the role NBC’s marketing firepower—led by Lauren Zalaznick—has played in the reshaping of the channel. But Ms. Berwick has been the key creative force in developing the series that have made Bravo the home of TV’s most sophisticated reality programming for adults. Shows such as “Project Runway,” “Top Chef,” “Top Design,” “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” “The Real Housewives” and “Flipping Out” draw some of the most affluent audiences on TV.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Ms. Berwick’s resume includes stints working for IFC and Britain’s ultra-edgy Channel 4, not to mention in the theater. She’s proven that taking the high road in reality doesn’t mean settling for low ratings.

Favorite reality show not involved with: “Girls Next Door” (don’t ask).