Wednesday April 9, 2014

Brace yourself for the newly announced slate of shows from Bravo . . . . 


Odd Mom Out -- Forget about keeping up with the Joneses, in acclaimed author and celebrated fashionista Jill Kargman’s world, life is about keeping up with the Rockefellers. This hilarious half-hour comedy, based not-so-loosely on Jill’s own life, captures the fantastically outrageous world of the uber-wealthy momzillas of New York’s Upper East Side. Playing a version of herself, Jill is living in a world that has become so elite, so hip, and so trendy, that she’s now the odd mom out.

Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce -- Based on the best-selling Girlfriends’ Guide book series by Vicki Iovine, the scripted series written by Marti Noxon follows Abby, played by Lisa Edelstein, a self-help book author who hides the fact that she’s separated from her husband as she starts to navigate her life as a single woman in her early 40s in Los Angeles. 


Top Chef Duels -- Previously announced as Top Chef Extreme, this new culinary competition series hosted by celebrity chef Curtis Stone brings back eighteen of the biggest, boldest and most talked-about personalities from past seasons of Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. In each episode, two former chef’testants will face off head-to-head in three rounds of extreme culinary challenges, each being given the chance to up the ante and challenge the other’s culinary skills. The winners of each battle will compete in the season finale in a test of pure gastronomic talent and ambition until only one is standing to claim the $100,000 grand prize and culinary bragging rights. Curtis Stone will also anchor the judges table with Gail Simmons, while chefs Wolfgang Puck and Hugh Acheson and special guests will round out the judging panel throughout the series.

Best New Restaurant -- A new out-of-studio culinary competition series that tackles the food world from a fresh direction: the restaurant. Acclaimed restaurateur and host, Tom Colicchio, along with his trusted team of experts, pit 16 of the nation’s hottest new restaurants against each other in a series of challenges aimed at determining who provides the best all-around, top-to-bottom experience. Tom will travel across the nation in search of only one restaurant that deserves a cash prize and to be crowned Best New Restaurant. The series is modeled after the UK hit Ramsay’s Best Restaurant from executive producer Gordon Ramsay.

100 Dates (working title) -- 100 Dates follows a group of young, successful New York singles as they search for love and live it up in the city that never sleeps. Marking the network’s first foray into real-time docu-drama production, each episode will be shot and aired within the same week. This addictive series takes transmedia to the next level as fans will be able to interact with the cast and affect the story in ways that have never been seen through social media.

Friends to Lovers? -- A true social experiment exploring what happens when platonic friends leave the comfort of the ‘friend zone’ behind and transition into exclusive romantic relationships. Friends to Lovers? attempts to answer the age old question, can friends really become lovers, as it follows multiple sets of friends who take a leap of faith and decide to take their relationships to the next level.

Manzo’d with Children -- Caroline Manzo of The Real Housewives of New Jersey attempts to be the ring leader of her crazy Italian family. Her children are driving her more nuts than ever as Albie is single and ready to mingle, Chris is eager to come up with the best idea since the stripper/car wash, and Lauren has finally let Vito put a ring on it. Meanwhile, husband, Al Sr., has no tolerance for all these shenanigans. It’s one crowded house filled with laughter and personality…and maybe a few rounds of the Ham Game.

Euros of Hollywood -- With personalities as big as their native countries, six successful European jetsetters are taking Los Angeles by storm. From an Albanian pop princess determined to conquer America her way, to a self-dubbed Italian Renaissance man whose personality screams “I’m a star,” these men and women are stopping at nothing on their rise to the top. With their hearts on their sleeves, they have a few things in common— the pursuit of wealth, power, fame and the American dream.

Ladies of London – Set in the glittering, class-conscious city of London, the docu-series follows a group of elite British socialites, Annabelle Neilson and Caroline Stanbury along with American expats Juliet Angus, Caprice Bourret, Marissa Hermer and Noelle Reno who all run in similar social circles, but are worlds apart. From weekend getaways in the English countryside, to high tea at one of London’s exclusive polo-clubs, both groups adhere to strict unwritten rules of engagement where reputation is everything.

Game of Crowns – Six pageant wives compete on the “Mrs.” pageant circuit to snatch the spotlight with their intense preparation from obsessing over the perfect swimsuit to honing their interview skills– all while being dedicated mothers and wives. 

Million Dollar Listing Miami – The hit franchise is expanding into the sexy city of Miami where three luxury agents, Chad Carroll, Samantha DeBianchi and Chris Leavitt, battle it out in the world of high-end real estate. With a surging market in South Florida, properties are selling for record rates and agents are cashing in on massive commissions like never before. Business can get heated as the brokers attempt to make a name for themselves and outshine their competition by landing the next big listing.

Jersey Belle -- A classic fish-out-of-water tale, this docu-series follows outspoken New Jersey native and Hollywood publicist, Jaime Primak Sullivan, as she navigates life in the upscale southern suburb of Mountain Brook, Alabama. Jaime’s life was turned upside down after she married the town’s “most eligible” bachelor. Despite the help of her girlfriends, who are determined to sculpt Jaime into a southern darling, Jaime can’t help but speak her mind – often to hilarious results. Can Jaime keep her Jersey cool in the Deep South, or will her southern-bred BFFs finally turn her into a true-blue Alabama belle?

Untying the Knot – When couples go from “I do” to “I don’t,” Vikki Ziegler is who they call to mediate, advise and divide their assets out of court. Each episode features a different divorcing couple struggling to divvy up their belongings that range from dazzling diamonds to the family pets. Expert appraisers Michael and Mark Millea evaluate the items in question and help Vikki determine a fair division of assets. Why let a judge decide your fate when this “Divorce Diva” can cut through all the drama to determine who will get what?

Extreme Guide to Parenting – From spoiling and severe punishments to helicopter and new age methods, this is parenting at its most extreme. Each episode gives a candid look at two different households with very unique styles of raising their children – and each family strongly believes their methods are superior.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta: Kandi’s Wedding -- You are cordially invited to celebrate the wedding of Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker. Against vocal family opposition that played out dramatically in season six of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kandi and Todd have decided to move forward and tie the knot. Each episode follows Kandi and Todd as they plan a larger-than-life Coming to America themed wedding ceremony, signifying the couple’s initial introduction in Africa.


Going Going Gone (working title) -- A never-before-attempted live televised estate sale where viewers are given the chance to snoop around the most spectacular homes in the country and bid LIVE on what’s inside! From a hand-sewn peacock feather dress modeled by Naomi Campbell at Milan Fashion Week to a stunning worn leather knife roll used by Wolfgang Puck at the time he opened his first Spago, at home viewers will have the opportunity to own some truly unique treasures.

Tour Group (working title) -- This luxury travel docu-series will follow a diverse group of upscale characters on a mind-blowing vacation through the most stunning, eclectic and exclusive sights and scenes around the globe. With such vibrant and varied personalities forced together in alien environments for two months, this dream holiday could be just that as some might find love under the pink light of the Taj Mahal, or turn into a nightmare for others as the furs fly in seven star resorts from Dubai to the Maldives. One thing is for certain, from a Safari in Kenya to the Souks of Morocco, this will be the ride of a lifetime.

Gen XYZ (working title) -- Six ambitious and successful women from four different generations are each on the precipice of taking their career to the next level in the fashion and beauty industries. While working to navigate the delicate balance between their personal and professional realities and aspirations, these trail blazers are grappling with what “having it all” really looks like for women of today in the cutthroat fashion industry.

Thankfully, Bravo has canceled Princesses: Long Island.

Justified wrapped up another fine season last night, leaving only one remaining before the show comes to a close.  Last night's finale was perfect insofar as I was concerned.  It ended with the perfect setup for a Raylan/Boyd showdown to play through the final season and to wrap things up with a nice little bow, hopefully.  Here's an interview with producer Graham Yost with more insight.  Here is another interview with Yost.

"We've got a long wish list for the final season. We don't have anything written in stone at this point. We don't know exactly who we'll see again. I'll say, it's my trite line now, that it would be strange if we never saw Limehouse again. It'd be strange if we didn't see Dickie again.

"The whole appearance of Dickie this season was just something that came out of the blue. It was just an idea that [writer/producer] Taylor Elmore had, and we all looked at each other and went, 'That's cool.' Hopefully, if we find something for Limehouse, it'll be that kind of thing. Just one quick second. That's the deal. We don't know for sure, but we have great affection for all of them. Yet, at the same time, we don't want to make it just this kind of sentimental farewell to any of them."

Per the LA Times, here's a look see at Oxygen's new slate: "The new lineup will include two competition series. In Nail'd It" hosted by Adrienne Bailon, top nail designers will vie against each other for a $100,000 prize, while Street Art Throwdown will feature up-and-coming street artists aspiring to be the next Banksy.

"In Fix My Choir, struggling choirs will receive mentoring from Michelle Williams, formerly of Destiny's Child, and Deitrick Haddon, star of the network's Preachers of L.A.  From executive producer T.I., Sisterhood of Hip Hop will follow a number of female hip-hop artists looking to break out to mainstream success. In a similar vein, Funny Girls will showcase female comedians trying to break into the male-dominated world of comedy in LA. 

"Rounding out the slate are two shows that will look at regular people who go to extremes. My Crazy Love is an anthology series that tells the story of men and women who do 'wild, crazy, romantic, eccentric and hilarious things' for the sake of romance, while Living Different will spotlight women leading unconventional and alternative lifestyles."  Permission to punch me in the throat if I end up watching any of this garbage.  

There's a college course based around Mad Men at Whitman College.  I wonder why only 24 students signed up.

One more slate of shows to announce, this one from CNBC (yes, they are diving deeper into non-fiction programming).  Per Variety, "CNBC is adding more reality-competition series to its primetime lineup with a greenlight for Shine America’s Restaurant Kickstart hosted by Joe Bastianich [MasterChef].

"CNBC has also ordered eight more hourlong episodes of The Profit, which revolves around serial entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis’ efforts to save struggling businesses.

"Kickstart challenges prospective restauranteurs to launch a pop-up restaurant with $7,500 in seed money in the hopes of attracting long-term investors. James Bruce, Eden Gaha, Paul Franklin, Robin Feinberg and Bastianich are exec producers. Series is skedded to bow in July.

"CNBC said it was developing Restaurant Confidential: New York with All3Media, a look at competition among Gotham restaurants, and Hard Money, with Matador, examining the world of loan sharks and high-risk lenders.

"CNBC has also ordered Filthy Rich Guide, a chronicle of excess by the wealthy such as over-the-top mansions and parties on private islands. Series hails from Leopard USA with Dave Hamilton and Dan Taberski exec producing."

Great piece by Bill Simmons about David Letterman.

Per EW, "NBC announced 'an unprecedented effort to discover fresh comedic voices' on Tuesday by launching a national campaign offering aspiring comedy writers from around the country the chance to pitch their sitcom ideas.

“'We are taking a bold, alternative approach in what we hope will uncover original comedy minds who are looking for a way to get into the television business,' said NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke.  The initiative, dubbed NBC Comedy Playground, pledges to reach beyond the traditional talent labs of film schools and comedy clubs by giving everyday people the opportunity to submit ideas directly to the network.

"NBC has enlisted a roster of well-known producers and actors to help them choose the winning concepts. The panel includes Aziz Ansari, Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, Mindy Kaling, Adam McKay, Seth Meyers, Mike Schur, Amy Poehler, and several others. “We love that an incredible A-list roster of producers, writers, and performers have jumped in to help us find that untapped talent,” Salke said.

"Here’s how it works: Comedy writers will submit their idea via an NBC site set up for the contest (below). The network will choose up to 10 finalists. NBC will fund each finalist to produce a pilot presentation based on their pitch. The producer-actor advisory board, in consultation with NBC, will pick two winners from the 10. The winners, who will be paid, will have their show broadcast on NBC (a pilot plus up to four additional episodes, at the network’s discretion).

"More entry details: 'Beginning May 1, aspiring comedy writers are asked to submit their ideas to be considered for both digital and network comedy shows. Entrants may submit up to two video samples (5-10 minutes each) of their pre-existing work, along with up to two video pitches (2-5 minutes per pitch), each describing a unique, original show idea, to'” 

Per Vulture, "Whit Stillman is working on a dramedy pilot (!) starring Chloë Sevigny and Adam Brody (!), about American expats living in Paris and looking for love (! forever). The show, calledThe Cosmopolitans, is one of two pilots Amazon recently green-lit, the company announced today. The other is Hand of God, written by Burn Notice producer Ben Watkins and directed by Marc Forster. Amazon describes that show thusly:

"'The show centers on the powerful [Judge Pernell Harris, played by Ron Perlman], a hard-living, law-bending married man with a high-end call girl on the side, who suffers a mental breakdown, and goes on a vigilante quest to find the rapist who tore his family apart. With no real evidence to go on, Pernell begins to rely on "visions" and “messages” he believes are being sent by God through Pernell's ventilator-bound son.'"

Here's a trailer for NBC's upcoming Chris D'elia comedy Undateable from Bill Lawrence.  I noticed that Ground Floor's Brisa Heelan is prominently featured.  Ground Floor has already been renewed for a second season, but because both shows are from Bill Lawrence, I'm optimistic that they'll figure out how she can do both.