Upfronts: Bravo, TWC Up Ante

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NEW YORK — Bravo and The Weather Channel said they would invest heavily in new, reality-themed programming in 2013 and 2014, as network upfront presentations continued last week.

Bravo Media picked up 17 new unscripted series and renewed 18 existing series. New series premiering this summer include Below Deck, following the young and single crew that works together on a private yacht; Eat, Drink, Love, about single, successful women connected to the restaurant industry in Los Angeles; Property Envy, a panel talk show where experts explore luxury real estate; and Taking Atlanta, following a group of young go-getters working hard and playing hard.

On tap for fall is City Sisters, about single New York ladies in real estate, fashion and media; Extreme Guide to Parenting, in which each episode looks at two households with unique styles of raising their children; and Thicker Than Water: The Tankards, a docuseries about a gospel singer/minister and his blended family as they expand their fortune.

Other unscripted series include Courtney Loves Dallas, featuring the Most Eligible Dallas star; Divorce Diva (working title), about an upscale divorce mediator; a topical fashion-based talk show, Fashion Queens; Southern Charm, a look at the Southern aristocracy in Charleston, S.C.; and Two Fit Girls, about the best friends and business partners behind Toneitup.com.

The Weather Channel will include 20 new and returning primetime series, an increase from eight in 2012.

New series include Secrets of the Earth (May 23), featuring computer graphics and expert scientists; Weather That Changed the World, about how weather affected historic events like the sinking of the Titanic and the Hindenburg disaster; August’s Storm Warriors, about people using incredible machines to work in the world’s worst weather environments; Strangest Weather on Earth, about phenomena like raining frogs and volcano smoke rings, and Freaks of Nature, seeking people who have the ability to perform feats that would harm or kill the average human.

Work is underway on a new flagship morning show to launch in the fall. The project — temporarily titled Weather. Set. Go. — is intended to be a multi-hour destination to help viewers prepare for their day. The channel also is bolstering its “Local on the 8s” infrastructure with on-camera meteorologists and more locally relevant forecasts.

Cable’s general-entertainment juggernauts TNT and USA Network have set the dates for their upcoming upfront presentations, with TNT locking in May 15 and USA opting for May 16. 

Andrea Morabito is programming editor of Broadcasting & Cable.

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