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Big Things Coming from Bravo

Fans of Bravo's soapy shows and reality competitions, take note: After a record-breaking year in 2006, the network is planning a ton of new shows for 2007, expanding its original programming from two nights a week to three.

In addition to Tuesday's "docudramas" ("Work Out") and Wednesday competition shows ("Project Runway," "Shear Genius"), the network will start programming on Thursdays later this year. All of the new series are reality shows, sticking close to the Bravo formula I've come to know and love. Some of the highlights of the announcement:

  • "Project Runway" will start its fourth season late in 2007, similar to the first two seasons, which started in December. After "Shear Genius" wraps up in early summer, we'll get a third season of "Top Chef." Padma Lakshmi will be back as host, and it sounds like Ted Allen (formerly of "Queer Eye") will be a full-time judge.
  • Also coming this summer: Another season of Kathy Griffin's "My Life on the D-List" and the premiere of "Hey Paula," which follows none other than "American Idol" judge and perpetual rumor fodder Paula Abdul.
  • Two real estate-themed shows are on the docket: a second season of "Million Dollar Listing" and a new show called "Flipping Out," which focuses on a hot-headed high-end house flipper.

More new shows, so

  • The other three new series are all about luxury and money: "Millionaire Matchmaker," about a woman who runs an elite matchmaking service called the Millionaire's Club (and whose own love life, of course, is a bit of a mess); "Welcome to the Parker," a behind-the-scenes look at the Parker Palm Springs hotel; and "First Class all the Way," which goes inside a high-end travel agency.
  • Bravo's also starting its own awards show, The Icon Awards, to honor contributors to the arts.

No matter how much I might whine about reality TV on occasion, I almost always make an exception for Bravo's shows; they suck me in like none other, and I see several on this list that could be new guilty pleasures ("Millionaire Matchmaker" especially). What about you?


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