Bravo, Andy Cohen!

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.


Not sure what’s wrong with me.  I work hard, travel, have a daughter, friends and a loving maltese (Moose), yet I’m addicted to reality shows.  I should probably tattoo Bravo or Food somewhere on my body or at least see if they’re publicly traded.

I come home from work, make Moose and myself dinner and then start clicking away.  Anthony, Bobby, Heidi, Isaac, the NYC preps and the Real Housewives (no matter where they’re from) have become my new best friends.

Yes, I read the news and even have a stack of magazines (unlike Sarah Palin) and paperbacks on my nightstand, yet I am drawn like a magnet by the guy who eats goat guts and the doc who lets himself get bitten by bugs head to toe.  I’m amazed by the spoiled brats in NY who constantly talk sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll (wonder which colleges are actually accepting them).  And I get hungry when Flay does his throwdown and nauseous when Adam scarfs down 12 pizza with extra cheese.  Yet I stay glued to the screen.  Kinda like a train wreck.

What is it about reality shows that reels me in?  Don’t I get enough reality watching one disaster after the next every day in the news?

I’m trying my best to figure it out and I think it’s watching real people do outrageous things that turns me on.  It happens in the news, too, but by the time I see the news it’s usually over and done.  With reality TV you’re not quite sure what will happen.  So, I find myself rooting for Adam to down the last pastrami sandwich with fries or the NYC prepster to toss his hair and say something totally obnoxious or the hotties in Miami to go clubbing all night.  When they do something like that, I feel a touch more normal.  Is that normal…who knows?  All I know if that when Anthony Bourdain goes to Vietnam and rants about the food and the booze, I wish I could be by his side.  So, while Tony gets plastered, I stay plastered to my plasma. 

Will I be able to free myself from my reality habit?  Probably, but it might take a 12-step program and RA (reality anonymous) meetings. And at the moment, I’m just having too much fun.