CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The Television Critics Association began its winter press tour this week in which the various broadcast and cable networks talk about their upcoming plans to the nation's top critics and entertainment reporters.
Here's a breakdown of the highlights of Bravo's presentation (via press release):
Bravo Network announced new original series and a broad array of special event programming for the first and second quarters of 2004. The new series include the groundbreaking unscripted comedy "Significant Others," the reality series "Things I Hate About You," the docu-soap "Blow Out," "Show Biz Moms" and "Cirque du Soleil: Solstrom" � the latter a new variety series from the acclaimed international performing troupe.
In addition, Bravo has picked up an all-new season of the acclaimed cable series "Project Greenlight," for premiere during the 2005 season.
Bravo also will feature the specials "TV Revolution," "The Sexiest Moments in Film" and "Inside the Actors Studio 10th Anniversary Special," which exemplify the network's commitment to providing innovative content.
"Bravo has received a lot of attention in the past few months due to the success of our new original series. In 2004, we look to continue to evolve through a large slate of innovative original programming - including 'Project Greenlight' and 'Blow Out.' As a network, we will continue to break ground and offer series, specials and events that take popular concepts and give them a unique twist," said Jeff Gaspin, President, Bravo.
Following is a summary of 2004 programming news announced today by Bravo:
BRAVO ORIGINALS - NEW SERIES
"Significant Others" (six half-hour episodes)
Premieres Tuesday, March 9 (9:00-9:30 p.m. ET)
"Significant Others" is an improvisational comedy about couples living their lives in-and-out of marriage therapy. It's a hysterically honest look at marriage and the rewards -- and costs -- that come from being in a committed relationship. The series features a talented ensemble of improvisational actors and comedians who, quite literally, script themselves. Executive producers are Peter Tortorici and commercial director Robert Roy Thomas.
"Cirque Du Soleil: Solstrom" (13 one-hour episodes)
Premieres Sunday, April 11 (7:00-8:00 p.m. ET)
The celebrated Cirque du Soleil is the focal point of this new 13-part variety series -- as unique an experience as Cirque is itself. Each episode weaves a wondrous array of never-before-televised Cirque performances into a unique style of storytelling, leading viewers through a mesmerizing dream world of fantasy and reality. Among the thrills are highlights from the Cirque productions, "Mystere," "La Nouba" and "O," plus dazzling new acts, performers and special effects. The series also spotlights the unusual talents of Yamakasi, a real-life troupe of young French daredevils. The family-oriented series continues Bravo's exclusive presentation of Cirque events.
"Blow Out" (six one-hour episodes)
Premieres Summer 2004
Who said looks aren't important? Certainly no one in Hollywood! From the creator of NBC's summer hit "The Restaurant" comes "Blow Out" -- an unscripted series that takes an unprecedented look at the demands and pressures of opening and running a salon in the heart of chic Beverly Hills, where glamour and beauty are the business of the day. "Blow Out" will follow renowned hairstylist, Jonathan Antin - whose high-profile clients include Madonna, Jewel, Kirsten Dunst, Alicia Silverstone, Tiger Woods and Tobey Maguire - on his quest to establish a new salon as a prominent player in an already incredibly competitive marketplace. "Blow Out" is produced by Reveille LLC and MAGNA Global Entertainment.
"Things I Hate About You" (13 one-hour episodes)
Premieres Summer 2004
"Things I Hate About You," based on the BBC2 series "Five Things I Hate About You," is a reality show that takes a funny, intelligent look at the psychology of modern relationships. Each episode features one couple given the chance to prove -- once and for all � which partner is the more irritating person with whom to live. Armed with personal video cameras, couples become documentarians as they seek to capture their partner's foibles on film. "Things I Hate About You" gets to the heart of what makes relationships tick. The series is produced by Wall to Wall Inc. ("Frontier House," "Manor House").
Premieres in 2005
The critically acclaimed documentary series about the making of a feature film, which originated on HBO, comes to Bravo for the series' third season, driven by the same creative team, including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chris Moore. Out of more than 10,000 entries, one first-time director will have an opportunity to manage the difficulties involved in making his own movie and a guaranteed theatrical release. In an interesting twist, the third season of "Project Greenlight" will focus specifically on the horror genre. "Project Greenlight" is executive produced for Miramax Television by Affleck, Damon, Moore and Sean Bailey of LivePlanet along with Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves.
BRAVO ORIGINALS - RETURNING SERIES
"Celebrity Poker Showdown"
Second season Summer 2004
Season two of Bravo's newest hit will be shot this winter in Los Angeles. Each episode of "Celebrity Poker Showdown" will feature five celebrities competing against each other in a game of No Limit Texas Hold'em poker for the charity of their choice. Each week, a new crop of stars will take to the table to challenge their peers. The winner from each week's game will go on to compete in the championship final episode. Viewers will have the inside track on the hands the different players are holding via hidden cameras. They will also be able to hear from the eliminated players, who will watch the remainder of their respective matches from the 'Loser's Lounge,' via closed-circuit television. "Celebrity Poker Showdown" is produced by Picture This Television in association with Bravo.
"Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"
New episodes begin Tuesday, Feb. 17 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET)
A breakout phenomenon, "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" is the "make-better" series that is designed for guys who want to get the girl, the job or just the look. Leveraging the expertise and personalities of "The Fab Five," the makeover unfolds with a playful deconstruction of the subject's current lifestyle and continues on as a savagely funny showcase for the hottest styles and trends. After imparting their invaluable tips, wit and wisdom upon the subject, and viewers, each hour culminates with the reveal of an empowered, stylishly complete straight man with a "Queer Eye stamp of approval." Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, Thom Felicia, Carson Kressley and Jai Rodriguez star. The series is produced by Scout Productions for Bravo.
"Inside the Actors Studio"
Premieres Sundays (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET)
The signature Bravo original series hosted by James Lipton, now in its 10th season, offers the best lineup of exclusive interviews with today's most accomplished stars of film and television in the series' history. Among the new guests for this year are:
Tom Cruise � Sunday, Jan. 11 (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET)
Charlize Theron � Sunday, Jan. 18 (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET)
Diane Lane � Sunday, Feb. 8 (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET)
Jay Leno � Sunday, Feb.15 (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET)
Hugh Jackman � Sunday, March 7 (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET)
Barbra Streisand � Sunday, March 14 (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET)
Bravo will celebrate the anniversary with a special featuring host James Lipton and highlights from the past 10 years.
"Inside the Actors Studio" is produced by Alice Christian and John Servidio for Betelgeuse, executive produced by James Lipton for In the Moment Productions and Frances Berwick and Christian Barcellos are the executive producers for Bravo. "Inside the Actors Studio" is a co-production of Bravo, Betelgeuse, In the Moment and The Actors Studio.
BASIC CABLE PREMIERE
"Keen Eddie" (13 one-hour episodes)
Premieres Tuesday, Jan. 20 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET)
The critically-acclaimed drama, created by J.H. Wyman, follows a down-on-his-luck New York City cop, played by Mark Valley ("Pasadena"), who goes to work for Scotland Yard in London after a botched drug bust back home. The series, shot entirely in London, stars Sienna Miller ("Bedtime"), Alexei Sayle ("The Young Ones"), Colin Salmon ("Die Another Day") and Julian Rhind-Tutt ("Tomb Raider"). The series premiered on Fox last summer. Bravo acquired all 13 episodes of the summer series � including six that have never been seen. "Keen Eddie" is produced by Frequency Films, Inc., The Littlefield Company and Simon West Productions in association with Paramount Network Television. Executive producers are Wyman, Warren Littlefield and Simon West.
"Reggae: The Story of Jamaican Music" (two-hour special)
Wednesday, Feb. 4 (8:00 �10:00 p.m. ET)
It began as "ska" in the streets of Jamaica, a joyful, new sound celebrating the birth of a new, independent nation. As it evolved into the style known as reggae, the music and its influence now are heard throughout the globe. Via archival footage, interviews and performances, this comprehensive two-hour special journeys from reggae's roots to its phenomenal popularity across Europe and America to its fusion with modern hip-hop. Featured performers and stars include Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Johnny Rotten, Eric Clapton, The Police, UB40, Maxi Priest, Shaggy, Busta Rhymes and many more. "Reggae: The Story of Jamaican Music" is produced by BBC Productions in association with Palm Pictures and Bravo.
"Sexiest Moments in Film" (four-part documentary series)
Premieres Monday, March 1 (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET)
Ranging from Lauren Bacall teaching Humphrey Bogart to whistle to Sharon Stone teaching Michael Douglas a thing or two about interrogation � plus the wardrobe on "Sex and the City" -- this enticing special covers the evolution of what is considered "sexy" in both film and television pop culture. In the age of push-the-envelope reality television and NC-17 film ratings, the specials show that a simple kiss or sideways glance can still do the trick. Original interviews with sexy scene-stealers and memorable clips will complement the historical perspective on sexy "then" versus sexy "now."
"Show Biz Moms" (six-part documentary series)
Premiering Tuesday, April 20 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET)
This previously announced six-part series shines the spotlight on real-life stage moms and their wannabe child stars as they make their way along the unpredictable road to fame. The unblinking camera follows hopeful child actors as they strive for careers in commercials, on the Broadway stage and in Hollywood, capturing the ups and downs of a professional life in show business. "Show Biz Moms" is produced by World of Wonder ("Reality of Reality," "Party Monster," "Monica in Black & White").
"TV Revolution" (five-part documentary series)
Premieres Monday, June 7 (9:00 �10:00 p.m. ET)
It's the most powerful medium of American culture, reflecting and fueling social change. This five-part series explores television's impact, including in-depth looks at the expanding portrayal of lifestyles and relationships, the depiction of crime and other action images through the years, as well as the evolution of roles for minorities and women. Highlights from TV's greatest shows will include: "Will & Grace," "Ellen," "Dynasty," "All in the Family," "Hill Street Blues," "L.A. Law," "NYPD Blue," "Law & Order," "I Spy," "Good Times," "Charlie's Angels" and "Sex and the City." "TV Revolution" is produced by Tiger Aspect Productions in association with Bravo.
"The 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards"
Saturday, Jan. 31 (8:00 �11:00 p.m. ET)
Presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and featuring the most popular stars from both film and television, "The Golden Globe Awards" are always a viewer favorite. Being the first awards show of the season helps the Globes attract the world's biggest stars and inspire some of the industry's most memorable antics. From winners dashing to the stage from the bathroom, or standing speechless at the podium, to a party-like atmosphere, "The Golden Globe Awards" have many must-see TV moments that make this special re-broadcast so appealing. Now, days after the event's original airing, viewers can see what had everyone talking � from the outrageous outfits to the hilarious spontaneity. The special will be produced by dick clark productions in association with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Dagmar Dunlevy is President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Dick Clark (NBC's "American Dreams") and Barry Adelman are the executive producers.
"The 18th Annual Independent Spirit Awards"
Sunday, Feb. 28 (10:00 �11:00 p.m. ET)
Exclusive Red Carpet Awards Coverage at 9:00 p.m. ET
Hosted annually on the Saturday before the Oscars, the IFP Independent Spirit Awards has become the vanguard event in independent film, recognizing the achievements of independent filmmakers and promoting independent film to a wider audience. Categories include: Best Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Documentary, Best Cinematography, John Cassavetes Award (awarded to the Best Feature made under $500,000), Best Female Lead, Best Male Lead, Best Supporting Female, Best Supporting Male, Best Foreign Film, and Best Debut Performance. For viewers, the evening offers the excitement of traditional awards shows combined with the edginess and humor of a non-traditional, "in" crowd.