Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bravo NOT Doing a 'Gay' Version of Their "Housewives" Franchise

Despite reports last month from the New York Daily News that Bravo Executive Vice President Andy Cohen had issued casting call for a "gay" version of their Housewives franchise to compete against Logo's recent The A-List: New York, Bravo executives tell AfterElton exclusively that no such show is in the works.

Says Bravo Media president Frances Berwick, "No, we’re not doing a version of that [a gay Housewives]. It would not be wildly outside of our milieu to do something that focused specifically on gay characters. But as to doing Real Gay Housewives, we’re not going there. Or something like The A-list, although I never saw a full episode, we wouldn’t do that."

The denial comes despite the fact that sites such as AccessHollywood have already reported the show has been cast. After those initial reports, Cohen took to Twitter saying, "Do you really think we would have a show called top to the bottom!?"

Many found that denial unconvincing as it seemed to be disavowing only the title itself.

AfterElton also spoke with Lauren Zalanick, President NBC Universal Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, who echoed Berwick's comments. Asked about reports Cohen had a "gay" Housewives show in the works, Zalanick says, "He has never talked about a gay male version of the Housewives. I’ve never heard him say that, and I don’t know why he would."

Asked about the online reports, she says, "It’s made up, I’m telling you. There’s absolutely nothing in development and never has been. I will say we do have casting out there around a group of gay guys. In terms of Andy casting it, we have a team. We have a couple [of different shows]. I would say, really early days, we’re in development, but we’re also developing a ton of other things."

Berwick stressed that gay men would stay part of Bravo's vision: "I will say that at any one time, including right now, we have over fifty shows in development, and many of them are focused on groups of people, and I will tell you that we have a couple that are focused on groups of same-sex people. But as to any similarity with any of our existing shows, or any show, including The A-List, there will be none."

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