Bravo. Noun: used to express approval, especially when a performer or person has done something well.
Andy Cohen has definitely done something well. Really well. As Executive Vice President of Bravo’s Original Programming and Development, and host of “Watch What Happens: Live” and the countless Bravo reunion shows, Cohen has single-handedly turned a network into pop culture, a PR veteran’s dream. Cohen is responsible for Bravo’s current hit programming: “Top Chef,” “The Real Housewives” franchise, “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” “Million Dollar Listing,” “The Rachel Zoe Project,” “The Fashion Show,” “Bethenny Getting Married?” “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” “Shear Genius,” “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover,” and “Flipping out,” and is in charge of the network’s current development and production slate (I’m out of breath). Oh, and no big deal – he’s also an Emmy award winning producer, previously nominated nine times, and will be writing a memoir that will be published next summer (while he’s tanning on Dune Road).
But what’s most captivating about Cohen is the fact that he, himself is synonymous with the “Bravo” brand. You can’t think of “Bravo” without picturing Cohen, sitting in his “clubhouse” drinking his scotch and dishing gossip with celebs. In fact, he coined the term for the celebrities he creates: Bravolebrities. TV Guide magazine named Cohen one of the 25 Most Influential People in Television. He’s successfully made the transition from behind-the-scenes puppeteer to face of the network. You’ve got to love this next one – when the first season of “The Real Housewives” premiered, he pitched a reunion show. When execs were looking for a host, Cohen probably chimed in with “I’ll do it. Nobody knows these bitches like I do.”
Here’s a clip of him attempting to rein the Real Housewives of New York City in.
Cohen has even implanted “Bravo” into our lexicon. I’m guilty of using it, saying things like “She’s ‘Real Housewives’-ish,” or commenting that a friend’s cooking is so good, they could be a “Top Chef.” He’s created an award show for his own network – the “A-List” awards.
His “Watch What Happens: Live” program is now going to be live five nights a week. Sure, the set may be in some basement in Hackensack with interns holding the boom and bounce boards, but the guests he scores are no joke: Sarah Jessica Parker, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, Jerry Seinfeld, Jimmy Fallon, Molly Shannon, Kristin Chenowith, Tracey Ullman, Ellen Barkin, Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos, Diane Von Furstenberg – along with his army of Bravolebrities. Plus, he’s a mensch and when he sees someone squirm too much in the hot seat, he changes the subject.
It’s Andy Cohen’s world of pop culture and booze, and we’re just watching it. Live. Mazels of the week, Andy!
Here’s a clip of an SNL Real Housewives Reunion spoof.