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April 16, 2014

Do you remember when Bravo wasn't horrible?

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 6th 2009 5:02PM
Got a press release from Bravo the other day that says they've not only given the green light for a third season of Shear Genius, they also have a new reality show coming up titled Double Exposure. I'm not even going to tell you what world the show is set in because you can probably pretty much tell from the title.

Do you remember when Bravo wasn't completely infested with reality shows? Sure, Top Chef is a good show, but the channel is practically all reality shows now, and most of them pretty lame (if not despicable). We've had Hey Paula, which showed Paula Abdul stumbling through her life. We've seen The Real Housewives of Orange County turn into some sort of ever-growing franchise. And let's not forget Tabatha's Salon Makeover, Manhunt, Make Me A Supermodel, Blow Out, Millionaire Matchmaker, Showbiz Moms and Dads, and...well, about 40 others.

It's gotten to the point where I long for the days of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy and Celebrity Poker Showdown (which were both fun there for a while). Where are the original dramas or reruns or dramas and comedies?

It's too bad that NBC doesn't use Bravo better. Maybe to air some of their network shows that they can't find a place for (thanks Jay Leno). I'm waiting for reality shows about dishwashing (which will probably called Hot Water) and a behind-the-scenes look at kids who shovel in the winter for extra money (Snow Job!).

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Cherry

What a timely topic. I was just bemoaning what a waste Bravo has become and what caused it.

Even Inside the Actors Studio is not what it was just a couple of years ago.

I have started at channel 2 and clicked all the way up to 1200 (I don't get the HBO's) and find NOTHING TO WATCH!! How can that be?

March 11 2009 at 9:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fred

Remember when things didn't suck like they do now?

You kids get off my lawn!

March 08 2009 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul

I'm glad Bravo! Canada hasn't fully become the wasteland that Bravo in the U.S. seems to have become.

The reality shows it does have are stuff like finding the next big opera star or following a Canadian singer/songwriter as he's about to take the lead role in the musical "Spring Awakening". And then they have all the usual Arts-related shows about movies and books and music. And the repeats they show are of "Dexter" and "Mad Men" and stuff.

March 07 2009 at 3:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Paul's comment
Brent McKee

Amen to that. Literally the only thing the two networks have in common now is the Actors Studio show, and we're all better for that.

March 07 2009 at 7:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joseph Singer

I must remember Bravo before you took notice of it since I remember it prior to the NBC/Vivendi/Uni takeover when they had somewhat "highbrow" programming with such things as Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods" and other stuff that was not so much network dreck. But then again anything that the "commercial" networks seems to turn into schmutz.

March 07 2009 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
segsig

Seriously, did you have to put those programming ideas out there? Someone will think it will sell.

March 06 2009 at 9:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mj

I am so sick of ALL channels becoming nothing but reality shows. Flip channels any hour, and the same shows are on. Jon and Kate, Top Chef, blah, blah. Good programming is becoming a thing of the past. How sad. Is this what we're becoming? How many times a day can Friends or Reba be on, for that matter. And don't get me started on the Law and Order/NCIS shows.

March 06 2009 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mj's comment
CParis

And how many times have you said to yourself, " I have 100+ channels and there's nothing to watch?"

If it's not L&O 24/7, it's "paid programming" like ShamWow or ColonBlow.

March 06 2009 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ned Wynn

I remember Bravo from back in the 1970's when it was a sort of artsy channel that ran interesting movies and documentaries. It really did stand in for a "premium" channel though shy we buy them today I don't know.

March 06 2009 at 8:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Ned Wynn's comment
keith

Bravo is a cable television network owned by NBC Universal. It is currently seen in more than 80 million homes[citation needed] and was the first service dedicated to film, drama, and the performing arts when it launched by Cablevision as an advertisement-free network in December 1980..

Yeah///It was SOO awesome in the 70's!!!

March 07 2009 at 1:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim Kosmicki

First of all, the decade of the 70's does include 1980 -- there was no year zero and decade means 10 years

but beyond the fact that their memory was off a few years thinking back almost 30 years, they are correct. When Bravo (and A&E and Ovation) premiered, they were promoted as being more highbrow than PBS. Cable companies carried them to be able to throw out the culture argument when channels like USA or MTV or The Nashville Network were declared to be worthless trash unworthy of being presented to our fair city.

it is a bit of "you damn kids," but if you weren't there in the early days of cable, you really don't have a context. The original cable lineup when my family first got cable was channels 2 through 13 (and one of those was HBO if you ponied up the extra money). Later, when they expanded and you had to have a converter box, it was still about 20 channels. Yes, there were fewer channels, but the jockeying to be one of those channels was still intense. Bravo staked out a claim that has been totally thrown by the wayside in its rush for ratings and publicity.

March 09 2009 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cejackson

The same thing has happened to A&E also. I remember when you could argue about not needing PBS because of the quality programs on channels like A&E or Bravo!

What a sad, sad wasteland TV has become (sometimes).

Chad

March 06 2009 at 7:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Justin

No one can speak ill of Blow Out. Jonathan Anton was bangin'.

March 06 2009 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Justin's comment
thepassenger

Really? I thought he was the biggest douche I'd ever seen. Still do.

March 06 2009 at 7:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CParis

This profile of Bravo's programming chief gives you the reason why most of their content has turned to a slightly upscale realityfest.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/magazine/02zalaznick-t.html?scp=4&sq=bravo&st=cse

March 06 2009 at 6:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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