NBC and Bravo Solidify Bond

Nov 17, 2003  •  Post A Comment

As Bravo unveiled its new programming slate last week, one pickup demonstrated that the network will maintain close developmental ties with its NBC parent.
“Significant Others,” a new series about couples in marriage therapy and combines scripted and improvisational comedy, was originally developed as a pilot for NBC and is produced by NBC Studios.
The show was shifted to Bravo, said Frances Berwick, the cable network’s senior VP of programming and production, because it “felt like a great fit for us.”
The decision showed Bravo’s potential as a venue for NBC content that the network deems too edgy for mainstream audiences. Earlier this year, NBC experimented with Bravo content by airing two episodes of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” Ms. Berwick said there are no firm rules governing the sharing of programming between the networks.
“We don’t really have a protocol for [sharing content]. We haven’t established any practices for it,” Ms. Berwick said. “But a show is not going to come to Bravo unless it complements our programming and our brand.”
That brand, she said, is best exemplified by “Queer Eye.”
“Our focus is developing shows that are good and complementary to `Queer Eye,”’ she said, “shows that continue to provide unique programming that taps into the zeitgeist … and are hip, stylish and not what you’d see on other networks.”
Asked which cable network Bravo regards as its most direct competitor, Ms. Berwick demurred.
“There are a number of networks we have overlaps with in terms of our audience-E!, Discovery, TLC, VH1,” she said. “But on the whole, we’re trying to do something different. We’re trying to anticipate trends rather than follow them, if you will.”
To that end, the upcoming slate is a mix of performance vehicles and lifestyle reality shows with a popular culture bent. The shows include “Project Runway,” Miramax Television’s fashion industry spinoff of “Project Greenlight”; “Show Biz Moms,” a six-part series about stage mothers; “Cirque du Soleil’s Solstrom,” a 13-part Cirque performance series; “Things I Hate About You,” dubbed a feel-good reality show about modern relationships; and “Kathy Griffin’s D-List” and “The Sarah Jones Show,” performance specials.
Bravo also has several programs in development, including “UnderExposed,” a reality filmmaking contest series; and “Housebusters,” a domestic version of a United Kingdom show about “the secret forces at work inside the home.”
Also on its development list is “Pilot Season,” a reality show produced by “Will & Grace” actor Sean Hayes’ production company Hazy Mills. The show follows the development of several television pilots. Bravo will broadcast the finalists and will, according to the logline, “wait to see which, if any, merit attention from a network.”
And then it will decide which network will run it.