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Bravo for a success on the NBC Universal Networks

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   NBC Universal Networks had some fine presentations at the recent 2011 winter press tour for the Television Critics Association, held at Pasadena's Langham Hotel. The gathering showcased programs from NBC, Syfy, Oxygen, Mun2, USA, and Bravo Networks.
   The interview sessions with the TV executives, producers, and stars became a parade of dramas, comedies, voyeuristic reality shows, and a continuation of the trend for assorted talent competitions.
   Giving an overview of the Bravo Channel, Frances Berwick president of Bravo Media, boasted that they were coming off of their fifth consecutive best-year-ever across all platforms, which is what the television industry is looking for these days. Bravo was ranked a lucky 13 among networks in primetime among all cable entertainment outlets in the coveted adult 18 to 49 demographic, and rated fifth among women 18-34.
   "Bravo continues to expand the hours of original programming, bringing viewers even more outsized hits that embrace pop culture and showcase big name talent," says Berwick. "We are known for evolving projects into cultural touchstones and we look forward to continuing that with our upcoming slate of creative new series."
   Among the latest series confirmed to premiere are the talent competition Platinum Hit with Jewel and Kara DioGuardi; Rocco's Dinner Party with Rocco DiSpirito; Million Dollar Decorators, and Pregnant in Heels.   The returning series, also mostly of the voyeuristic reality show genre that has made Bravo into a success story, include The Real Housewives franchise from New York and Orange County; The Rachel Zoe Project; Flipping Out; The Millionaire Matchmaker-- now called Bethenny Ever After; and the ninth season of Top Chef. Plus Kathy Griffin will be back with new specials.
   The reality series do help the production community by employing crews, writers, and other talent, and they need equipment and production facilities. That's part of the reality of the reality shows grabbing up the space on the airwaves.
   However, a well-crafted drama and a great situation comedy would be more my cup of tea.
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