Warner Horizon Television is shopping I Slept With A Celebrity, a half-hour weekly unscripted series executive produced by Watch What Happens Live host and former Bravo top development executive Andy Cohen. As had been the trademark for Warner Bros head of unscripted TV Mike Darnell in his days at Fox with such series as When Animals Attack!, Who’s Your Daddy? and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, the title of I Slept With Celebrity tells you exactly what it is. In each episode, two guests will dish about how they hooked up with a famous person for what often ended up being a one-night stand. After a decade as a programming executive at Bravo, Cohen stepped down as head of development in November, segueing into a first-look deal with NBCUniversal in addition to continuing his duties as host and executive producer on Watch What Happens Live. As part of that pact, NBCU networks are expected to get first look at I Slept With A Celebrity.
Warner Horizon Teams With Andy Cohen For Unscripted Series About People Who Have Slept With Celebrities
NATPE Chief Promises More Digital, Buyers, Exhibitors, Station Groups, And Advertisers — Plus Phil Rosenthal Quizzing James L. Brooks — At January Confab
Registration for both domestic and international buyers attending January’s 2014 NATPE conference in Miami Beach is pacing well ahead of last year, with double digit growth, NATPE president and CEO Rod Perth said this morning, citing more exhibitors, more buyers, advertisers, more stations groups, and a more prominent digital presence. Forty-four percent of the registered buyers are international, representing 46 different countries, and 28 station groups are participating this time, Perth said on a conference call with the press. At last count, there were 225 exhibitors — 34 of them attending NATPE for the first time, and five returning in January after years of absence, said Perth, who is in his second year at NATPE. For the second year in a row, each of the major studios will be at NATPE. Exhibitors, meanwhile, come from 23 different countries, including increased participation from the UK, France, Spain and Germany, he said.
Oscar and Emmy-winning director/producer James L. Brooks will chat with Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal in a session at NATPE, joining Bravo’s Andy Cohen, Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman, documentarian Morgan Spurlock, and Boardwalk Empire exec producer Terence Winter in sessions staged during the confab’s The Storytellers Who Have Shaped Pop Culture track. Brooks is among those receiving the 11th annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award at the NATPE conference, held again at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach. New to NATPE, there will be a presentation of findings from a two-part independent research study commissioned by NATPE and the Consumer Electronics Association, in re how how and why consumers use second-screen devices to engage with video content. The first part of the findings will be presented at the 2014 International CES, where the focus will be primarily on technology, devices and the user experience. The second part, which will be presented at NATPE, will consist of qualitative research based on interviews with TV program producers and showrunners, examining how second screen affects the way they develop content and incorporate it into their programs.
From today’s NATPE announcement:
Bravo’s Andy Cohen To Step Down As Executive And Become A Producer, ‘Watch What Happens Live’ Renewed For 2 Seasons
UPDATED: Andy Cohen has been walking that delicate line between being a top Bravo executive and one of the network’s most recognizable personalities. He won’t walk it anymore. Cohen is stepping down from his post as head of development for Bravo Media. He is launching a production company, Most Talkative, which has signed a multi-year first-look deal with Bravo, the network’s first pact of this kind. The pact, which starts at the beginning of 2014, allows Cohen to develop and pitch projects to all NBCUniversal networks, broadcast and cable. Additionally, his Bravo late-night talk show Watch What Happens Live has been renewed for two more years. He also will continue to host Bravo’s reunions and specials and serve as executive producer on The Real Housewives franchise. “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. With Cohen’s departure from his executive duties, VP Development Lara Spotts will assume the role as head of Bravo’s development team, reporting to Berwick. Cohen will carry on with his executive duties for the next couple of months, helping Spotts transition into the job. Cohen started at Bravo in 2004 as VP of Original Programming & Development and was upped to SVP …
UPDATE: Donald Trump Invites Vladimir Putin to Miss Universe Pageant Hosted By MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts
UPDATE, 1 PM: On Today’s MSNBC Live, Thomas Roberts asked Miss Universe pageant co-owner Donald Trump asked if giving a thumbs up to his hosting gig, which is “professionally flying in the face of” Russian anti-gay laws, “change any of your prior public stances on marriage equality here in the U.S?”
“No, it doesn’t change,” Trump responded, adding that Roberts is “a wonderful guy.” Trump said he’s invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the pageant, on November 9. “I know for a fact that he wants very much to come, but we’ll have to see. We haven’t heard yet, but we have invited him.”
PREVIOUS: NBC News landed itself a great angle on a big news story when MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts signed to co-host the Miss Universe Pageant in Russia next month, joining NBC’s America’s Got Talent judge/“Spice Girl” Mel B. Roberts. “Courage is contagious. I have felt that way since coming out publicly in 2006,” Roberts explains on MSNBC.com, saying he aggressively sought the gig. Roberts is replacing NBCU-owned Bravo’s Andy Cohen, who previously hosted the pageant but said he would not do so this time because of Russia’s recently passed anti-gay laws which left him concerned for his own safety and feeling that, as a gay man, he should not set foot in Russia. (The pageant is co-owned by NBC and Donald Trump’s organization.)
Queer Eye For The Straight Guy was a surprise hit when it premiered in July 2003, adding the “make-better” to the pop culture conversation and sending Bravo on its reality path. Now the cable channel is celebrating the five-season series with Queer Eye Reunion: 10 Years Later, an Andy Cohen-hosted gathering of the “Fab Five”: Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia, Carson Kressley and Jai Rodriguez. As they discuss the Emmy-winning show — whose title was shortened to Queer Eye after Season 3 — the gents will dish on behind-the-scenes secrets and how their lives have changed in the past decade. The reunion will air in October.
Oprah did well by Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live when she made her first visit to the show Thursday night – but she’s no Orange County housewife. An average of 969,000 viewers watched Oprah visit Andy Cohen’s program as part of her march across the talk-show landscape, plugging her new film, Lee Daniel’s The Butler. That’s one of WWHL’s bigger crowds. But it’s no match for the 1.213 million who tuned in on July 29th, the 1.18 million who came on Aug. 5, or the 1.006 million on Aug. 12. On each of those nights, one or both of Cohen’s guests was a cast member of Bravo’s flagship reality series, Real Housewives of Orange County.
While maybe no match for a scenery-chewing Orange County housewife, Oprah is formidable at the weekend boxoffice, reports Deadline’s Nikki Finke, who notes that based on early trends, The Butler is looking to be the biggest grossing film for the weekend, with 72% of Fandango’s surveyed The Butler ticket-buyers saying Winfrey’s involvement increased their interest in the film.
During her WWHL visit, Cohen asked O whether her new film role was tougher than the one she’d played in Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple. “There’s no comparison. That was almost 27 years ago … and at the time nobody knew who I was. It was easier to be on screen. Nobody was saying, ‘Gee, that’s Oprah.’ This was harder this time for me, because I’ve worked 25 years …
UPDATE FRIDAY 2 AM: Oprah is all about carefully controlling her image at all times. But not this week when she made the media rounds to promote her return to the big screen in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. During the process she made several public revelations about OWN that could complicate Discovery chief David Zaslav’s current spin campaign that her cable channel is no longer a disaster. First, Oprah told People Magazine that last summer she suffered “the symptoms of a nervous breakdown” and reached her “breaking point” because her Oprah Winfrey Network was struggling very publicly. Tonight, she told host Andy Cohen on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live that her biggest personal ‘aha’ moment would have to be last year when she was “getting all the schadenfreude from the media cause OWN wasn’t where I wanted it to be at the time.”
Zaslav’s joint venture with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Inc, OWN had a wobbly 2011 start and weathered more problems in 2012 even though Discovery advanced it hundreds of millions of dollars. (Exactly $509M total as of June 30th of this year and, while Discovery isn’t required to lend any more, it might do so if needed, according to Zaslav.) Oprah told People magazine she had a meltdown last summer because “people were counting me out… After 25 years of being No. 1, I had become accustomed to success. I didn’t expect failure. I was tested …
These days stars will do just about anything to publicize their movies. Still it was a surprise that triple Oscar winner Meryl Streep on behalf of Hope Springs would agree to appear on Bravo embarrassment Andy Cohen‘s awful talk show Watch What Happens Live. She looked terrified the whole time. But when she was able to get a word in edgewise (which wasn’t often, Cohen being the ego-out-of-control brat he is), Streep answered a range of stupid questions during the half-hour that nevertheless gave some rare insight into what she really thinks of her various co-stars over the years.
She began the show joking that her bandaged hand was injured “trying to direct Tommy Lee Jones in a sex scene”. Presented with choices of Jack Nicholson (Heartburn), Robert Redford (Out Of Africa), and Dustin Hoffman (Kramer vs Kramer), then forced to marry one, shag one, and kill one, Streep replied that she’d marry Bob, shag Jack, and kill Dustin. Asked for the first thing that came to mind when looking at the photos of more co-stars, Streep replied “Take off your sunglasses” to Nicholson, “Infallible” to Jones, “The King” to Clint Eastwood (Bridges Of Madison County), “Surprisingly good actress” to Roseanne Barr (She-Devil), “She’s right” to Shirley MacLaine. And when co-star Lindsay Lohan’s name came up for the little seen A Prairie Home Companion, Streep said softly, ”Aw, I pray for Lindsay.” Asked to name one bad film she made, …
Octagon Entertainment said today that Andy Cohen and David Stanley will join the sports and entertainment agency. Cohen, previously at Gersh, will become Octagon’s entertainment division’s VP. Attorney and longtime producer Stanley will run the division’s new production operation. Both will report to Octagon managing director John Ferriter.
Taran Killam does a decent sendup of Andy Cohen, whom I once described as The Single Worst Thing Airing On Bravo… Then again, everything on that trash network (except Top Chef) is now a complete embarrassment:
Bravo will strip its semiweekly interactive talk show Watch What Happens: Live five nights a week starting Jan. 8. Hosted by Bravo executive Andy Cohen, the sixth season of the show, which started off as blog that spawned a Web series before migrating to TV as a weekly series, will air live every Sunday through Thursday. It will be the only nightly late-night TV show to air live. As part of the transition, Cohen will keep his EVP title at the network but will shift executive responsibilities. Currently EVP of original programming and development, Cohen will now serve as EVP of development and talent, focusing on creating new original content. He will continue in his role as executive producer on Top Chef and the Real Housewives franchise. Meanwhile, longtime Bravo executive Jerry Leo has been upped to EVP, Program Strategy and Production. Leo, most recently SVP, Program Strategy and Acquisitions, will expand his duties to include the current Bravo slate of originals.
Andy Cohen, a rare combination of a programming executive who is also a TV/Internet personality, has been promoted to EVP of original programming and development at Bravo. Cohen will continue to oversee the network’s current development and production slate coming out of the East and West Coast reporting to Bravo president Frances Berwick. In addition, he will continue as host and executive producer of Bravo’s late-night weekly talk show Watch What Happens: Live. Cohen also will host the reunion specials and will continue to write Andy’s Blog, on BravoTV.com. Cohen, who started at Bravo in 2005, was most recently SVP.
Who else wonders if, under Comcast, NBC Universal will continue to let the awful Andy Cohen run Bravo like his private playground. His awful interviews… His awful talk show… And, of course, the awful way he fills the channel with his friends. The latest Cohen BFF on Bravo is Bruce Bozzi Jr, executive vice president of the Palm Restaurants Group, who showed up on last night’s “he stole my pea puree!” episode of Top Chef Washington DC. Granted, Bruce is quite a dish himself and ready to be the next unscripted star. Not to worry, he already has an agent: he’s the longtime partner of CAA’s Bryan Lourd.
Eli Lehrer was promoted to VP development for Bravo Media. Leher will now be based in Los Angeles and will oversee development for Bravo on both coasts, reporting to Andy Cohen, SVP original programming and development (and Bravo on-air personality). Lehrer was previously VP development and production, East Coast since 2008, where he developed Bravo’s Flipping Out, The Real Housewives of New York City and The Real Housewives of D.C. and executive produced the Cohen-hosted Watch What Happens: Live, The Millionaire Matchmaker and Tabatha’s Salon Takeover.