Mazel!  Bravo Media Announces Multi-Tiered Deal With Emmy™ Award-Winning Producer Andy Cohen

Bravo Media

Great Camera Deals

Here’s the official Bravo Media press release issued today after this morning’s announcement in The New York Time’s that I wrote about earlier this morning

I won’t repeat all of that here but will just add one additional comment on it. As I mentioned in my original article, it’s been apparent for some time that the dual role of talk show host and of Exec VP of Programming was too much for any one person. Only time will tell whether his choice of being Bravo Talent versus being a Bravo Suit is the right move but in the meantime he has a two year contract for WWHL, which will pay him a very good base salary, plus he can work on new programming via his production company ‘Most Talkative’.

If Cohen can develop his own programming and then sell it to Bravo, Oxygen, Esquire TV or wherever, he’ll be much better off in the long run. Any programming ideas he had while he was on Bravo’s payroll would have belonged to them under standard ‘work for hire’ rules but as the ‘owner’ of his new ideas & the content he makes at ‘Most Talkative”, he stands to make a lot more money.

Just imagine how much Scott Dunlop makes from The Real Housewives? He created, packaged and sold to Bravo The Real Housewives of Orange County (see this great 2007 article from the OC Register). Dunlop would have made nothing from Manhattan Moms, the show on which Alex McCord & I were originally cast, but once Lauren Zalaznik decided to repackage it as the second “Real Housewives of …”, Scott Dunlop received a ‘conceived by’ credit and of course dollars from Bravo. Per IMDb Dunlop’s listed as a creator on each of the nine franchises and no doubt gets a cut from each of them every season plus foreign sales plus residuals etc.

If Andy had created another RH type mega-franchise while at Bravo, Bravo would have owned it and not him, but if he can create its replacement at his own production company, then he’ll have a chance to hit the jackpot.

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November 13, 2013

Agreement Includes Two Year Pick-Up For “Watch What Happens Live;” First-Look Development Deal With Cohen’s New Production Company; Hosting Reunions/Specials And Serving As Executive Producer Of “The Real Housewives” Franchise Lara Spotts Assumes Role as Head of Bravo’s Development Team as Cohen Transitions Out of Executive Role at Network

NEW YORK – November 13, 2013 – Bravo Media announced today that the Clubhouse will be open for business for the next two years with host Andy Cohen at the helm of the buzziest, most interactive and only live talk show in late night, “Watch What Happens Live.” Additionally, Cohen also inked a first-look, multi-year development deal with the network as he launches his new production company, Most Talkative, the same name as his recent best-selling autobiography. This marks the first deal of this kind for Bravo. Cohen, an Emmy Award-winning Producer, will depart the network as an executive, but will continue as Executive Producer of Bravo’s successful “Housewives” franchise and serve as host for reunions and specials.

“Andy has influenced the course and the shape of Bravo tremendously over the past 10 years as a production and development executive, and as creator and host of our flagship late night show, becoming the face of the network,” said Frances Berwick, President of Bravo and Oxygen Media. “He has created legions of cultural-touchstone programs and left an indelible imprint on the network. We are excited to retain him as a creative force with this new deal, which will also allow him to take ‘Watch What Happens Live’ and its irreverent, brand-defining humor to the next level.”

Cohen will continue to host the network’s iconic reunions and specials which have amassed nearly 80 hours and averaged 1.8 million A18-49 and 2.7 million total viewers since kicking-off in 2006. He will also continue to serve as an executive producer for the entire “The Real Housewives” franchise, which he helped launch in 2005.

“In my 23 years as a television producer, my time at Bravo has been the most rewarding and this next phase of my career is the perfect marriage of everything I love doing — producing and broadcasting,” said Cohen. “Watch What Happens Live’ is the show I have dreamt about hosting all my life – it’s the exact extension of my love for pop culture and fun. I’m thrilled to launch my production company Most Talkative and to continue my role as EP of the ‘Housewives’ – I couldn’t imagine leaving behind women that have become a part of my daily life.”

With Cohen’s departure from his executive duties, Vice President Lara Spotts will assume the role as head of Bravo’s development team. Spotts currently serves as Vice President, Development for Bravo and will now lead the scripted and non-scripted efforts on both the West and East Coast, reporting to Berwick.

“Watch What Happens Live” started in 2007 as an online after show for “Top Chef” and the following year for “Project Runway.” After building a loyal online audience, Bravo strategically premiered the show on-air at midnight one night a week and soon moved to 11PM (http://x-apple-data-detectors://2), two nights a week. The only live interactive late-night talk show was then stripped to five nights-a-week in January 2012, and since then has been averaging 534,000 P18-49 and 942,000 total viewers. Featuring guests from the world of entertainment, politics and pop culture the show has become a destination for major celebrities including Oprah, Lady GaGa, Meryl Streep and Cher.

Cohen started at Bravo in 2004 as Vice President of Original Programming & Development and was upped to Senior Vice President and then Executive Vice President of Original Programming & Development in December, 2010. Since then he has overseen an aggressive slate of unscripted series and specials including hits such as the Peabody Award winning “Project Runway,” Emmy winning “Top Chef,” “Queer Eye,” “Being Bobby Brown” “Kathy Griffin: My Life On the D List,” “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” “Million Dollar Listing,” “The Rachel Zoe Project,” “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist,” “Bethenny Ever After,” “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover,” “Shahs of Sunset,” “Flipping Out,” and the entire “The Real Housewives” franchise.

Cohen received an Emmy award when season six of “Top Chef” won Outstanding Reality Competition Program at the 2010 primetime Emmy awards and has been nominated for 17 additional Emmy Awards as Executive Producer of “Project Greenlight,” “Project Runway,” “Top Chef” and “Queer Eye.” In 2005, Cohen was awarded a Peabody Award for his role as Executive Producer of the TRIO documentary “The N Word” and another in 2008 as an Executive Producer of “Project Runway.” Previously, Cohen was Vice President of Original Programming for TRIO (pop, culture, TV), beginning in July 2000 where he was responsible for developing and supervising all of TRIO’s original productions. Prior to TRIO, Cohen worked at CBS News for ten years.

He has also hosted the CFDA Fashion Awards, interviewed Lady Gaga for the cover of Glamour Magazine, Rihanna live on Facebook, Jerry Seinfeld on, and Martha Stewart at the 92nd St YMCA. In June of 2013 Cohen was named to Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business List. In December of 2012 GQ Magazine named Cohen one of the 25 Best Dressed Men of the Year. In 2011 and 2012, he hosted the “Miss USA” and “Miss Universe” pageants live on NBC. His book, Most Talkative, spent 13 weeks on the New York Times best sellers list.

Prior to working at Bravo, Lara Spotts worked in casting, production, development and scripted for projects with VH1, MTV, Logo, Showtime, Disney Channel and ABC. Lara has developed and executive produced her own documentary “Raising Teens” for Logo. She wrote and produced the short film “One Sung Hero,” which premiered at Sundance in 2006. She was a staff writer for Showtime’s “The L Word” and created and produced “Totally Hoops” for the Disney Channel.

Source: Nielsen Media Research, L7 data through 10/20/13 blended with LS through 11/03/13. Cohen hosted specials based on non-WWHL special episode premieres. WWHL 2012TD average based on regular season episode premieres.

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  • http://76horns 786horns

    I am not savvy re Andy. All I know is he is a great “officiator” with the housewives franchise and keep it going ANDY !!

  • M (@Mike0243)

    I’m a little curious about when the decision for Andy’s departure was made. I remember back when Andy switched his twitter name to just @Andy I checked out the old handle, @BravoAndy, and it had already been taken over by someone, I’m thinking Bravo, before he made the change. I know this because there had already been a few hundred tweets but the account was changed to private. I sent a request to follow and of course there was never an acceptance. I had a feeling something was about to happen back then

    • Simon van Kempen

      Mike, what I find a little perplexing is why if Andy knew that this change away from his Exec VP Programming role was in the works and soon to be announced, why he tweeted at me just 15 days prior to the announcement that “he still ran programming”. He should have taken the advice he gave me years ago and that was to ignore certain tweets and have just stayed quiet. ;-)

      • M (@Mike0243)

        Andy may not have know, but I’m not sure what is meant by “he still ran programming” His Bravotv bio describes his position as >> Executive Vice President of Development and Talent. He is responsible for creating original content, developing innovative formats, and identifying new talent. He also serves as Executive Producer on Emmy and James Beard award-winning Top Chef and The Real Housewives franchises<< He is still in charge of the Housewives series. I think whoever is in charge of scheduling is almost as guilty for some of Bravo's poor ratings as well. This idea of programing the same show to run at the 8 & 10pm hour is ridiculous to me and couldn't have been helpful to WWHL's ratings. If I was interested in a 1st run show at the 10pm hour, I might stay up and watch WWHL but I'm not going to stay up and watch a rerun just to see Andy in the clubhouse, that's why God made dvr's.

        • Simon van Kempen

          Agreed that him rarely having original programming airing at 10pm as WWHL’s lead-in definitely hurts his ratings but ad rates between 8pm & 11pm are significantly higher than from 11pm. According to this article on The Wrap, (which was updated to include a BravoPR spokesperson’s comment) the change doesn’t take place until 2014.