When it was announced in November that Andy Cohen, King of Bravo, would be turning his late-night hosting gig on Watch What Happens Live into a five-night-a-week job starting on January 8th, we were full of questions. Especially since this new lineup was announced with only an offhanded mention of Mr. Cohen, a Bravo exec who has made his way to the front of the camera in a kind of reverse Seacrest-ing, would be switching titles from the Executive Vice President of production and development to the EVP of development and talent.
Since no one loses–or gains–a title in this business without it meaning something, we called up the twinkly-eyed and silver-tongued Andy Cohen to talk about his new responsibilities…and what he’s giving up.
“Basically what it means is that I’m not going to be as involved in all of our current shows as I was,” Mr. Cohen told us via phone. “I’m still going to be an EVP on The Real Housewives and Top Chef. But with the exception of that, I’ll mainly be focusing on development and talent.”
But with development still in his title, what did that word mean to Mr. Cohen?
“Developing new shows for the channel,” he told The Observer. “Developing new franchise hits.”
Okay. So the main difference would be that he would be in charge of the nitty-gritty production and programming details like he was previously?
“I never did the schedule, I produced the shows,” Mr. Cohen explained. “I was in charge of production and development.”
Feeling that we were running in circles, we decided to change tacks. Would Mr. Cohen be taking a stronger hand in developing what the network calls “Bravolebrities”? What were they looking for in the next potential NeNe or Bethenny Frankel?
“We’re just looking for people that are one of a kind and fun,” Mr. Cohen said. “People who are different from what you usually see on TV. I think Chef Roble (Ali) is a great example. He’s adorable, he’s funny, he’s talented, and he’s got great charisma.”
When asked what worlds he culled from when designing these Bravolebrities, Mr. Cohen responded, “Food, fashion, beauty, design, and pop culture. That’s our playground, so that’s where we look.”
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