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Andy Cohen Interview

In a new interview with Hamptons Magazine, Bravo’s Executive Vice President, Original Programming and Development Andy Cohen touches on a number of topics.

The interview was actually conducted by Andy’s friend Mark Consuelos who states, “My wife and I met him five years ago, and we feel like we have been lifelong friends.” Andy dishes on his most memorable WWHL guests, what he loves about each Housewives series, and which housewife has surprised him the most, hint – it’s a RHONJ! Excerpts from the interview below -

MARK CONSUELOS: Your show Watch What Happens: Live is ridiculously successful—you recently celebrated its 100th episode. What do you think it is about the show that everyone connects to?
ANDY COHEN: I think it is just the weird combinations of people. You have Sandra Bernhard and Sonja Morgan on, and Nacho Figueras—actually, it was a little bit of a Hamptons fest. You don’t know what is going to happen. I think it is a Fellini movie mixed with Wayne’s World.

MC: I have been on your show a few times, and it is so much fun. I think alcohol plays a small part in that, actually. I think Kelly said that alcohol could be your cohost.
AC: Alcohol could be my cohost, but I am not looking for a cohost.

MC: No, I don’t think you need one. The alcohol does help to make people a little loose. Which guest has gotten the loosest?
AC: There was one time when Bethenny Frankel turned to me during a commercial break and said, “I am trashed.” And Ricki Lake was very drunk. Then we had Regina King and Jackée Harry—that was the most famous, that became something. I got off the air and said, “That show was terrible”; I really felt like it was bad, but they were really into it, the ratings were high, and the fans loved it.

MC: What you are doing right now is rare. I don’t think it has really ever happened before, where you are straddling this network executive role while hosting a late-night talk show. Which do you find a bigger challenge? Is this part of your evil plan to take over television?
AC: I find my day job more challenging than my hosting job; I find that just a pleasure. I feel like I am hanging out with people that I know or have wanted to know, and everybody is invited to my party. And I love throwing parties. My day job is complex and complicated, and although I feel like I am good at producing television, it is challenging.

MC: Would you want to host five nights a week?
AC: You know, somewhere in my mind, I would love to, but it would mean that I would have to make some kind of a Sophie’s Choice because this job that I have is a 12-hour-a-day job. By the way, Bravo has not asked me to do this five nights a week; I just want to be a good solider.

MC: You have had some big celebrities on your show, but who would be your ultimate get?
AC: Michelle Obama. There is an election [coming next year]—maybe we should start working on this now. And Madonna. You know I am a huge Madonna fan.

MC: Whom would you rather save, Joe Gorga or Joe Giudice from Real Housewives of New Jersey or Mauricio Umansky from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills?
AC: Wow, this is a real brain twister. I would like to say Joe Gorga, but I am going to say Mauricio.

MC: Let’s talk Housewives—the show is great. If you had to keep only one of them, which is your favorite?
AC: I can’t! It is usually whichever one I am watching rough cuts of. Right now I am watching Jersey and New York, but they each bring me a different form of love. The Atlanta ladies just make me laugh my ass off. Beverly Hills, I just feel draped in cashmere. New Jersey, I love the way it is shot, the storytelling and the music; I think they do a brilliant job, and I love the construction of that show. New York, I just love these women and it entertains me—these glam New York women fighting about why people didn’t RSVP to their party; I think it represents this slice of New York life that makes me smile. Miami, I am so in love with Mama Elsa [Patton], I cannot even handle it. And Orange County is Knots Landing, and I feel like there is some real-life drama that happens with those women.

MC: These women have become celebrities, and with some really thriving business. Which one has surprised you the most?
AC: You know, Bethenny didn’t surprise me because I think she is so driven, but Teresa [Giudice] has a New York Times best-selling cookbook called Skinny Italian, and she has another one called Fabulicious. She really took me by surprise. Give it up to Teresa.

Photo: STEPHAN WÜRTH/Hamptoms Magazine.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON ANDY’S INTERVIEW?

Andy Cohen

Months after stating Bravo was likely done with new housewives franchises following the Miami disaster, it seems Andy Cohen is deciding to leave that door open.

In a new interview with Variety, the Bravo executive VP of original programming and development reveals he’s happy with the current franchises on the air but is always open to adding a new series if all things are right.

“We’re at a really good place right now,” says Andy. “Each city will be on for three or four months, and then they go away for close to a year. That’s a nice thing. It allows the women to regroup. It also allows the viewers to miss them.”

Andy adds that if the cast is right, a new additional franchise is possible while also revealing a shocker! According to Andy, Bravo actually tried to get a Texas franchise, which might or might not be my dream franchise, going but failed to find the right cast.

“You only want cities with strong points of view, cities that have strong regional personalities,” explains Andy. “We’ve tried to mount a Texas (incarnation), but we never hit the nail on the head with casting.”

Sighs.  Here’s to hoping the socialites, famewhores, and housewives of Dallas will step up to the plate and allow their lives to be featured on Bravo! I stand strong in my belief that a Texas franchise would be G.E.N.I.U.S.

In other Andy news, a new report came out today stating he is one of the three finalists being considered by ABC to replace Regis Philbin on “Live with Regis and Kelly.” The other two finalists are said to be Ryan Seacrest and Mark Consuelos.

TELL US – SHOULD BRAVO EXPAND THE HOUSEWIVES’ SERIES? SURPRISED BRAVO COULDN’T FIND THE RIGHT CAST IN TEXAS?

In a new interview, Bravo’s Vice President of Original Programming and Development aka Andy Cohen discusses the Real Housewives of Miami – explaining why the first season was cut short to just six weeks, the low ratings & the decision to do a live reunion show. Andy also touches on his strong like for Mama Elsa Patton plus his favorite and least favorite part of his job.

Excerpts from Andy’s interview with the Miami New Times below –

What’s your favorite part about your job?
Too many to count! Just talking to people and getting to know people and having fun with them, being on Watch What Happens Live!, I don’t even call that a job. My mom came to the show with me last night and we were getting home at 12:30 and I was like ‘Can you believe that’s even considered work, what I just did?’ It’s just fun.

Least favorite part about your job?
I hate negotiating contracts. It just gets really personal and nasty, not nasty, but very personal and sensitive.

Are there any shows you took a chance with and were surprised they became successful?
The Real Houswives. It was something that we all thought could be interesting but you just never know what’s going to resonate. And Top Chef! And that the title of ‘Top Chef’ actually means something to a lot of people and a lot of chefs is something we’re all very proud of here.

It seems like Bravo shows shot in Miami [Miami Social and the Real Housewives of Miami] have some ratings challenges. Any insight on this?
I don’t know, I feel pretty good about the Miami Housewives. We threw it on with not a lot of promotion and I think those woman are great characters. The truth of the matter was, we put it on because everyone in America was going through such a horrible winter and we just kind of realized we had Miami on the shelf, ready to go, and we needed a little more time to finish New York [Housewives] to make it perfect. Let’s throw it on as a six-week kind of antidote to all the winter madness.

And then by the time we decided to do a reunion show, we were three weeks in and didn’t have time to post it properly, so we decided to do one live. And I think the fact that we [did] a live reunion show speaks to our wanting to do something to celebrate the end of the show. I’ll say that when I had Elsa and Marysol on Watch What Happens Live! it was one of the best half hours I’ve ever had on TV or off TV. It was a blast!

Elsa has been the break-out star of the show, hasn’t she?
She has been one of them, yeah. Look, the breakout star of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was a hairless pomeranian named Jiggy and we love break-out stars.

If Elsa Patton could grant you three wishes, what would they be?
I think Elsa ‘can’ grant me three wishes, because I think she is a witch. But one would be that she comes back on Watch What Happens Live!, two would be that she finds me the love of my life, and three would be eternal health and happiness.

Who would win a cage match between Elsa and Ramona [from the Real Housewives of New York]?
Ramona. I think she’s fueled by Pinot Grigio, she works out a lot, and Elsa’s got a bum knee. But, I think Elsa could reduce Ramona to tears. If it was a couch match, Elsa could cut Ramon down. But if you threw them in a cage, it’s going to be Ramona.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON ANDY’S INTERVIEW & COMMENTS?

It seems the housewives buck stops in Miami.

According to Bravo’s Executive Vice President of Original Programming and Development aka Andy Cohen, the Real Housewives of Miami is the end of additional cities to the successful reality series.

When asked about which city he would look to next to find more housewives by OK! magazine, Andy replied, “I really feel like we’re done.” When further pressed on if Miami is the last stop on the Housewives spinoffs? Andy answered, “Yeah.”

And when it comes to other housewives getting their own Bravo spinoff shows a la Bethenny Frankel, Andy reveals that is very unlikely.  “I think they’re all good where they are,” he stated.

This comes as no surprise following the lackluster ratings and reviews of the Miami franchise.  The show has averaged a dismal  1.18 million viewers over the first 3 episodes.

While ending the addition of new franchises might be best, we are a little disappointed we will never get to see a Real Housewives of Dallas.  That would have been all kinds of awesomeness no?

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON ANDY’S COMMENTS? ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THIS DECISION? WHAT HOUSEWIVES FRANCHISE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE?

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