Bravo Strategic Opportunities - October 2008



Bravo has become one of the top ranked networks for upscale viewers across all cable entertainment networks.  They have had numerous records and unprecedented firsts in terms of ratings and most watched programs.  They have opened up their programming slate to be more than just the old arts & entertainment network and have gone more mainstream, acquiring off-net theatrical movies, series and specials.


Unscripted -- contest reality, docusoaps.  They are also developing game shows and talk shows.


Always looking at big off-network product.


Due to a number of factors, including volume of mail, employee safety, and legal issues, Bravo cannot accept unsolicited creative ideas or materials.  You must be represented by an agent, attorney or production company.  Bravo does not accept e-mail submissions.


Bravo picked up yet another spin-off of its REAL HOUSEWIVES franchise. This time the series heads south, with THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA.Bravo has expanded its Real Housewives franchise to include locations across the country. Beginning with The Real Housewives of Los Angeles and continuing with incarnations in New York and New Jersey, the series has examined the lives of wealthy housewives and social butterflies, juggling complicated social lives while managing their families and careers. Bravo's Real Housewives franchise has resonated with their viewers across the country.This franchise peeks inside the exclusive, affluent community to see how they live their often-dramatic lives and manage families and careers.

Lifestyle continues to be an important genre and big business for Bravo.  Bravo has a development team which is constantly scouting for talent across its five key areas: food, design, fashion, beauty and popculture.   According to Frances Berwick, executive VP of programming & production there's a fine balance between being entertaining and also having credentials.  "I think an essential facet of lifestyle shows is that you want to be watching a show where the peope know what they're talking about.  It's absoutely essentials for us that we use someone who is authentic and credible so the audience buys into what they're doing."  Berwick also says there is definitely an aspirational quality about Bravo's programming and there has to be a layer of drama on top of that.  Experts need to be talented and credible, but they also have to have the colorful personalities that make the viewers want to come back every week.

Bravo's hallmark of increasing viewership with each original franchise cycle is unprecendented.  Fueled by the successful competition reality genre and the jaw-dropping docu-dramas, the network continues to roll out these kinds of original shows.As quoted by the Lauren Zalaznick, president of the network, the way she explained her reality show casting process: "We cast people who are put on this earth to be who they are. We want to show what drives us, and our casts are meant to show the types of people who surround us." Zalaznick feels that the common threat that links all of her reality shows: "It's cynicism about success and optimism about obtaining it".

Bravo announced plans to increase its programming hours by 45%, adding a fourth night of programming on Mondays and introduces a slate of new and returning series to its lineup.  During its recent Upfront, Bravo unveiled a robust slate of 12 returning series.

Bravo is apparently speaking to more and more of America "" or at least an upscale, urban part of it, largely female and also including, Ms. Zalaznick acknowledged, a significant number of gay men.

Design, fashion, celebrity reality shows seem to be the locomotive on this network with no stopping in sight. Building upon the success of the network's originals, Bravo's new programming encompasses the signature programming groups: fashion, food, beauty, design and pop culture. Signature series continue to draw more viewers with each season building upon the past for both their competition reality and docu-drama genres.

Bravo defines themselves as "brand personality".  Recently it was reported that the kind of programming they look for and air are the following:

"Inventive" but useful, "Original" but not abstract, "Stylish", but accessible, "Bold" but not offensive, "Breezy" but still meaningful, "Forward-looking" but rooted in the present, "Smart" but not academic, "Confident" without bragging, "Sexy" but not vulgar, "Open-minded" but still opinionated, "Inviting" but not ordinary. (quoted from "Think Bravo," Bravo network, internal document)


E-mail CableU feedback on our observations at