Long gone are the days when Bravo was the go-to place to watch operas, independent films, and Cirque du Soleil. Lorded over by Andy Cohen’s white teeth and carefully folded pocket squares, the channel has become a reality-TV filled behemoth beloved by those who regularly think, “Eh, I could watch a Real Housewives marathon this Saturday.” And Bravo’s monopoly on the “rich and shallow” market is poised to continue in its recently unveiled programming slate. The announcement includes 16 returning series, 15 new series, and three projects in development—all of which sound like the most Bravo-y shows Bravo has ever Bravo-ed.
The new reality programing includes Top Chef Duels, which brings back all-star chefs from past seasons and pits them against one another; 100 Dates, which marks Bravo’s first foray into “real-time docudrama production,” as each episode about New Yorkers finding love will be shot and aired within the same week; Friends To Lovers? which is based around the concept that “friend zone” is a phrase people actually say; and Ladies Of London, which is basically an international take on the Housewives franchise. Other projects still in development also sound like typical Bravo fare, although Going Going Gone seeks to play up the real-time aspect as viewers are given a tour of a fancy house and allowed to bid live on what’s inside—perhaps indicating that, in its next phase, Bravo could simply become the Home Shopping Network.
The network is also introducing two scripted series to its reality-heavy line-up. The half-hour comedy Odd Mom Out is about the “über-wealthy momzillas of New York’s Upper East Side,” while the previously announced Girlfriend’s Guide To Divorce will star House’s Lisa Edelstein as a self-help author trying to hide that fact that she’s separated from her husband.
Fans of Bravo—or those who find it to be the perfect background noise for housecleaning—needn’t fear, as pretty much every Bravo favorite is returning, including Top Chef, Millionaire Matchmaker, and the Real Housewives of the New Jersey, Atlanta, and Beverly Hills varieties. The complete programming slate is best enjoyed with a mimosa and haughty sense of superiority.