*Long before Bravo became the home to NeNe Leakes and her “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast mates, the channel launched on Cablevision in 1980 with programming centered solely on performing arts, drama, and independent film.
It wasn’t until 2000 when it rebranded as a destination for all things pop culture, including reality shows fashion programming, makeovers and real estate fare.
Andy Cohen – current Executive Vice President of Development and Talent and host of “Watch What Happens Live” – has seen the network evolve even in the eight years since he arrived, joining as Senior Vice President of Original Programming and Development.
“When I started, ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’ was on and we were in post-production on season one of ‘Project Runway.’ Since then, we developed and created the ‘Housewives’ franchise and ‘Top Chef’ and ‘Flipping Out’ and ‘Rachel Zoe Project’ and all the other shows that we’re excited about,” he tells EURweb.
“It’s grown a lot. I think we’ve grown into our brand; we’ve expanded on it. I think with shows like, ‘Work of Art’ and ‘Flipping Out’ and ‘Million Dollar Decorator’ and ‘Million Dollar Listing,’ it’s a great breadth in the brand, but it’s very specific and defined. We’ve been able to continue having the most upscale and affluent audience on cable, and we’ve been serious about preserving that…and we have.”
Despite the tremendous strides Bravo has taken in its programming, Andy says he gets more questions about the network’s sexual preference. Yes, people actually ask him if he thinks Bravo is too gay?
Believe it or not, Andy – who is openly gay – has an answer: “I tell people it’s bi.”
Below, NeNe and former friend Dwight fight in this clip from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”