Ellen Stone had been SVP Marketing at Bravo, where she oversees and directs marketing initiatives for consumer advertising, ad sales, digital and social media and the on-air and off-air creative to ensure consistency of the network’s brand across all platforms. As her role has expanded, Stone added licensing and merchandising, developing several brand extensions for Top Chef including a frozen food line, a cruise and a pop-up restaurant. She also oversees tune-in and brand campaigns like the successful “Summer By Bravo” initiative. The former Lifetime marketing director joined Bravo in 2006. As EVP Marketing, she reports to Bravo and Style Media president Frances Berwick. “[Stone] has helped propel Bravo to a Top 10 network with exciting ways to engage our audience and keep the brand fresh, distinctive and relevant”, Berwick said in announcing the promotion.
UPDATE, 5:09 PM: Most of them are back for sure. “The Real Housewives of New York City will return on Bravo for season six,” a Bravo spokesperson confirmed today. “At this point, the returning cast members include Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan, Carole Radziwill and Heather Thomson.” Note that LuAnn de Lesseps and Aviva Drescher are not on that list. A source says that doesn’t rule it out that they are returning with the others, as I reported on May 11, but right now Singer, Morgan, Radziwill and Thomson are the only Housewives Bravo is confirming publicly.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Billionaire wife Jackie Siegel was on hand this morning for Bravo’s panel promoting the April 29th premiere of the surprise box-office hit doc The Queen Of Versailles, the DGA Award-nominated feature from photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield that made its original mark at the 2012 Sundance Fest. (The film earned Greenfield that festival’s best director prize.) Greenfield said the film wound up at Bravo by design and that selling to Magnolia Pictures for theatrical and Bravo for TV was “our dream scenario.” It traces the story of Jackie and David Siegel, who are building their outrageously ostentatious dream home in Florida when the economy crashes in 2008. The home, modeled after France’s famed Palace of Versailles, was to be 90,000 square feet and include 10 kitchens, a bowling alley, a 6,000-square-foot master suite, two tennis courts and a roller rink. It’s designed to be the largest home in America, dwarfing even the famed Spelling estate. The film left the impression that construction might be permanently derailed. But Jackie Siegel assured this morning in Pasadena that it’s back on track. Construction resumed four months ago, and the plan is now to have the first phase completed in two years in time for her husband’s 80th birthday.
Diane Haithman is a Deadline contributor.
Diversity was the hot topic on the panel for Bravo’s reality series Newlyweds: The First Year at today’s NBC Summer Press Day. Joining Bravo vice president of East Coast Development Lara Spotts were two of the four couples the show tracks over a year: Alaska and Kimberly V. Gedeon, who are African-American, and Blair Late and Jeff Pedersen, a gay couple. Spotts is openly gay and married to a same-sex partner. The onscreen couples were asked to offer their perspective on minority couples featured on scripted series TV, including the gay couple on Modern Family, Cam and Mitch. Late joked that, of the Modern Family characters, partner Pedersen most resembles Phil Dunphy, the male half of a straight couple on Modern Family. He added that he and his partner “are no poster children” for gay marriage.
After two seasons on air, Kathy Griffin‘s late night talk show Kathy is not being renewed, Deadline has confirmed. The comedienne dropped the news during a live stand up show Friday night in Cincinnati, Ohio …
Bravo Unveils Slate Of 17 New And 18 Returning Series, Announces Scripted & Unscripted Projects In Development
Bravo Media today unveiled what it says is its largest slate of original programming ever with 17 newly greenlighted and 18 returning unscripted series. That is a 15% increase over last year. Bravo also announced three new scripted and three unscripted projects in development. Bravo’s first scripted pilot, Rita, is now in production as the network is eying a launch of its first scripted series in the fourth quarter. (Bravo’s second scripted pilot, The Joneses, did not go to production.) Bravo logged its seventh consecutive year of ratings growth in 2012 and is currently running up vs. last year in total viewers and the 18-49 and 25-54 demographics. “Bravo’s ongoing investment in high-quality original content across every platform continues to drive our growth year-over-year,” said Frances Berwick, President of Bravo and Style Media. Bravo, which recently moved under the oversight of NBCU cable maven Bonnie Hammer, also is expanding its multi-screen initiatives and increasing the number of TV360 deals. The network’s slate introduced today indicates that creatively, Bravo is staying the course, at least for now. Here are the details on new and returning series and projects in development:
NEW SERIES GREENLIGHTS:
“Below Deck” – Summer 2013
Produced by 51 Minds with Mark Cronin and Courtland Cox as Executive Producers.
The upstairs and downstairs worlds collide when this young and single crew, known as “yachties,” live, love and work together onboard a privately owned extravagant yacht. Working and tending to the ever-changing needs of their demanding charter guests is not always smooth sailing.
EXCLUSIVE: Bravo is taking a step toward launching its first original scripted series with the pickup of its first scripted pilots, both from established female writer-producers and based on existing properties. The cable network has given the green light to Liz Tigelaar’s The Joneses and Krista Vernoff’s Rita. The Joneses, from ABC Studios, is based on the 2009 indie film of the same name that starred Demi Moore and David Duchovny. Rita, from Fox TV Studios, is an adaptation of a Danish format. Bravo plans to debut its first original scripted series in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Bravo brass announced their intent to enter original scripted programming last year. The network’s efforts in the arena shifted into high gear in March when the network hired Andrew Wang as VP Scripted Development & Production. The network put a slew of projects in development, with The Joneses and Rita emerging with the first pilot orders. “We went out looking for shows that spoke to the Bravo brand of great aspirational female-driven upscale worlds” and came from strong creative auspices, Wang said.