Upfronts 2012: Bravo ups original programming; unveils 11 series

As part of its upfront presentation, the NBCUniversal cable net has announced another addition to the Top Chef franchise, a series for Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump (pictured), and two scripted projects in development.
April 4, 2012

Fans of Bravo’s Top Chef and Real Housewives franchises, rejoice – there’s more on the way.

The network unveiled 11 new series today as part of its upfront announcements, as well as eight returning series and two scripted projects in development.

The new additions to the aforementioned popular Bravo franchises include Life After Top Chef, once again produced by Magical Elves and following the lives of former “cheftestants” as they try to cook up new opportunities following their Top Chef turns. Chefs featured in the series include Jen Carroll in Philadelphia, Richard Blais in Atlanta, Fabio Viviani in Los Angeles and Spike Mendelsohn in DC.

Lisa Vanderpump, one of the stars of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, will also star in SUR (w/t), a docuseries following the action at Vanderpump’s restaurant, SUR, which she bills as “the place you take your mistress.” Evolution Media produces.

Two docuseries focusing on players in the digital era also figure in the slate. Silicon Valley (w/t), produced by Den of Thieves and executive produced by former Facebook marketing director Randi Zuckerberg, will look at the “intertwining lives of young professionals on the path to becoming Silicon Valley’s next great success stories,” according to the network. Huh? (w/t), produced by RelativityREAL, looks at the man behind the LOL-cat phenomenon, Ben Huh, and the staff at icanhascheezburger.com.

51 Minds brings Below Deck to the slate, which takes to the seas to show the lives and loves of “yachties” who tend to rich and demanding clients on board luxury mega-yachts. True Entertainment, meanwhile, will deliver Decades (w/t), which follows vintage couture boutique owners Christos Garkinos and Cameron Silver.

Previously announced series making the slate include Miss Advised, produced by RelativityREAL and Ashley Tisdale’s Blondie Girl Productions, which follows three relationship experts attempting to practice what they preach while negotiating the twists and turns of the dating world.

Newlyweds: The First Year, greenlit in August, comes from Monkey Kingdom and charts the lives of six newlywed couples in the U.S. as they embark upon their first year of matrimony.

Another Magical Elves series, Gallery Girls (w/t), was also greenlit in August under the title Paint the Town. It follows seven female denizens of New York City’s art scene who “dream of living a chic and fashionable existence.’

L.A. Shrinks, originally announced in Bravo’s development slate in October of 2010, comes from Intuitive Entertainment and follows the professional and personal lives of personal therapists.

Making the move from backdoor pilot to first season is The Kandi Factory from True Entertainment, featuring Real Housewives of Atlanta star and successful songwriter Kandi Burruss, who has penned tracks for TLC, Mariah Carey, Usher and many more top R&B acts. The series will chart the action as Burruss takes budding performers and attempts to give them chops and confidence.

Returning unscripted series for Bravo include Flipping Out, Tabatha Takes Over, Million Dollar Decorators, Top Chef Masters, Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, Chef Roblé and Co., Pregnant in Heels, and Inside the Actor’s Studio, which celebrates its 250th episode this season.

Bravo is also rolling out a Facebook-driven social media game, The Real Housewives: The Game, in time for the fifth season of The Real Housewives of New York City. The net will also launch “Play Along,” billed as a real-time viewing experience that will allow fans to interact with programming and each other via trivia, polls and other social media experiences.

“Our ‘Affluencers’ are passionate about our content, and are the first to try new technologies and engage in social media,” said Frances Berwick, President of Bravo Media and Style. “It’s that combination of passion, engagement and curiosity that has powered our development of attention-grabbing experiences and trendsetting digital offerings. And it’s allowed us to drive the conversation and provide unique partnership opportunities across every platform.”

The network has also announced its move into scripted development via two projects: 22 Birthdays (w/t), and Blowing Sunshine (w/t).

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