For any of you out there in TV land still longing for the days when MTV used to play music and Bravo used to be an alternative for when PBS had another telethon on, it's probably time for you to give up the dream and live in the now. On Tuesday, Bravo announced its lineup of new and returning shows, and with the exception of Inside the Actor's Studio — which is coming back for a 19th season — it's pretty much what we've come to expect from the network: lots and lots of reality programming.
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In addition to the network's gold standard of reality shows like Top Chef (coming back for a Season 11) and its spin-off Top Chef Masters (entering its fifth season), Bravo is also bringing back Andy Cohen's inexplicable talk show Watch What Happens Live (we demand more Meryl Streep in Season 10!).
In addition to its, er, classier programming, there's also more Flipping Out, Tabatha Takes Over, Million Dollar Listing, Chef Roble & Co, Vanderpump Rules, Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis, and Don't Be Tardy on the horizon. And, of course, the various Real Housewives franchises will be back, including The Real Housewives of New Jersey (Season 5), The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Season 4), The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Season 6) and The Real Housewives of New York (Season 6). That can only mean one thing... more Brian Moylan recaps! Huzzah!
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As far as new and in development series from Bravo that look to speak to the common man, well, there's something tentatively called Rich People's Problems and Ivy League Confidential... so you can pretty much guess what's in store. For a list of all the new reality programs, including a Most Eligible Dallas spin-off called Courtney Loves Dallas and Kandi Burruss' own The Kandi Shop, click here.
But, hey fellow old-timers, you'll be happy to know there's a few scripted shows coming to the network, too. The Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce, Heiresses, and High and Low should provide a much-needed break from the reality overload.
[Photo credit: Matthias Clamer/Bravo]
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It can happen in any number of ways — a stark fade to black immediately following the firing of a gun, a body gone missing after the explosion of a building, a pair of fluttering eyes that never quite close while flirting with eternal abyss. Television loves to tease death. It loves to make us think one of its beloved (or detested) characters have crossed to the other side, only to reveal later on that the alleged deceased is alive and kicking. And there's no opportunity more advantageous for such a display than the season finale. The final episode of Boardwalk Empire's third season concluded with a highly ambiguous fate for one of the show's most vivid characters (spoilers to follow): Gillian Darmody, played by Gretchen Mol. Not long before her last moments on camera, Gillian was stuck with the heroin needle she used in the killing of the innocent Jimmy Doppelganger whom she made victim of one of her nefarious ploys earlier this season. Gillian revived the needle in an attempt to do away with Gyp Rosetti (Bobby Cannavale), but the gangster overpowered her and injected the drugs — presumably, a whole lot of 'em — into her system. The last we saw of Gillian, she was listing away from our world in the hallway of her own brothel, eyes gradually losing their luster but never shutting out altogether.
When you take into consideration the symbol of the needle — a murder weapon of recent past — and Gillian's candid diatribe earlier on in the episode about eventually getting her comeuppance, you're bound to let the poetry of her decline influence you: she's dead. But then, you remember the rule. The golden rule of television and movies. If you don't see them die, they're not actually dead. It's a maxim that every third act victim in horror cinema might have been wise to abide by. As such, you're wont to assume that we will see Gillian live another day, return for a fourth season and continue to wreak havoc upon everyone she meets.
And as touched on above, it's television drama season finale where this rule is nothing short of cardinal. The phenomenon dates back at least as far as its most famous perpetrator: Dallas. The third season finale concluded with the most iconic moment of the show, and one of the most iconic moments in television drama altogether: the shooting of J.R. Ewing. The cliffhanger left not only J.R.'s assailant unidentified, but the survival of the oil baron a mystery all its own. A similar question surrounded the sustenance of one Mr. Burns in The Simpsons' parody episode couplet, "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" (although no one really thought he was going to actually die... Homer has fallen down, like, 30 gorges and is doing just fine).
We've been dealt this sort of treatment in recent dramatic television as well. The Season 4 closer for Alias left the fates of car crash victims Vaughn and Sydney up in the air. The Season 7 finale of Weeds had Nancy Botwin the possible victim of a nearby sniper before an abrupt fade to black. And the Season 3 finale of Breaking Bad had relatively innocent meth cook Gale Boetticher staring down the barrel of Jesse's gun, which fires just as the camera slinks ever-so-slightly to the side... again, preceding an immediate blackout. And every single one of these characters survived.
Oh, wait, no. Gale died.
Leave it to Breaking Bad to shatter convention, replacing the rules of dramatic television with an unprecedented chaos. Okay, so that show, that one show, isn't out to play games with us. In fact, creator Vince Gilligan has suggested that his Season 3 conclusion was a stylistic choice, and that he intended no real ambiguity about Gale's demise (he confirmed Gale to be dead before Season 4 even picked up again). But most shows out there, Boardwalk included, seem to like toying with us. Because we like being toyed with. We appreciate what you're doing for us, Breaking Bad. We appreciate the respect and the sincerity. But we love a good "Is he or ain't he?" too. That's proven by not only every season finale, but every episode of television wherein we're treated to would-be deaths of characters. Every show from Lost to Dexter to Game of Thrones to Revenge to Homeland to the aforementioned — it's a rule nearly as good as gold in the television game. Yet it's one that still tantalizes, because there's always the possibility of another Breaking Bad-like rebel. If you don't see the eyes close shut, if you don't see a body recovered, if you don't see a freakin' casket, you're probably not too far gone in awaiting the return of the "deceased," even if it doesn't happen right away. After all, they've got to save some big shocker for sweeps.
[Photo Credit: HBO]
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Finding your one true love is never easy, but come May 14 Bachelorette Emily Maynard is willing to give it a shot with 25 willing and ready suitors at her beck and call. So to help Emily weed out the keepers from the crazies, Hollywood.com has decided to determine who is really worthy of her final rose. First impressions can go a long way — let's see what kind of eligible bachelors the show has in store for her.
Occupation: Insurance Agent
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Wild Card: His biggest date fear is forgetting his wallet.
Odds: He may not have that "bad boy" demeanor that the girls always go crazy for, but you have to admire a man who hates the thought of making his date pay for him all night long. Trust me, ladies, it happens more often than you think. I say this guy's got some definite potential.
Occupation: Grain Merchant
Hometown: Uberlandia, Brazil
Wild Card: Speaks both Portuguese and Spanish.
Odds: Nothing is more sexy than a man who can speak a foreign language (although having a killer body doesn't hurt either). This guy seems to have both, which should definitely come in handy when trying to stick out among the rest. Never underestimate the power of a man with an accent.
Occupation: Mushroom Farmer
Hometown: Medellin, Colombia
Wild Card: He's a Mama's Boy.
Odds: A girl could probably make peace with the fact that he's a mushroom farmer (in fact, I'd be curious to see what exactly his job entails), but he mentions his mother twice during his brief bio, which immediately sends up red flags. This guy already has a No. 1 lady in his life — and you're not it. And when asked what three things he would want with him if trapped on a desert island, one of the things was a picture of his mother. I'm sorry, but a Mama's Boy with no survival instincts is just bad news. Run!
Occupation: Race Car Driver
Hometown: Den Bosch, Netherlands
Wild Card: He's driven in the INDY 500.
Odds: Professional race car driver? Say no more — this guy has some serious fiance potential (so long as he's not fast at everything he does). Did I mention I'm single?
Occupation: Technology Salesman
Hometown: Midland, Texas
Wild Card: Calls himself a Closet Romantic.
Odds: Not to sound mean, but isn't there an age limit on this show? I know love is supposed to be ageless, but her 26 to his 41 is just a big enough age gap to make me (and I'm sure many others) feel very uncomfortable. Plus, he calls himself a Closet Romantic. Well it's a good thing he's signed up for a dating show then. It's not like you need to show affection or anything. Gosh!
Next: Meet the Dog Lover.Name: Charlie
Hometown: Worchester, Mass.
Wild Card: He's a Dog Lover, ladies.
Odds: This guy's answers were a little too clean cut to be completely legit (like when pageant contestants say all they want is World Peace), but he has a soft spot for dogs, which can't go unnoticed. In fact, he even owns an English Bulldog — adorable. He's not going to be the first guy eliminated from the show, but puppy love can only get your so far on a series like this.
Occupation: Corporate Sales Director
Hometown: Bartlett, Illinois
Wild Card: The fact that he's a Corporate Sales Director.
Odds: Given his job in sales you know he probably has a way with words, meaning he could be quite the charmer. But on the other hand, he could be like one of those annoying telemarketers or door-to-door saleman who just won't take no for an answer (in a not-so-adorable way). Whatever he may be selling, Emily may not necessarily be buying.
Hometown: Charlottesville, Virginia
Wild Card: He's a musician.
Odds: Every girl loves a guy who can sing, but musicians don't really have the most financially stable form of employment, which isn't exactly music to a single mother's ears. Sorry my friend, but you've struck the wrong chord.
Occupation: Real Estate Agent
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Wild Card: He still talks about his ex.
Odds: No woman wants to hear a man talk about another woman in any capacity unless he's referring to his mother or sister. When asked to recall his best date memory he mentions a "really long hug" with his ex. First of all, that's it? A hug is your very best memory? Secondly, mentioning exes too much won't help your chances on a dating show. Better get that out of your system while you can, buddy, or it's going to be a rose-less night for you.
Occupation: Fitness Model
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Wild Card: Doesn't like to move fast in relationships.
Odds: In his bio, Jackson says he was speechless when a girl asked him where "this" was going in the middle of their first date. If he doesn't think questions like that are going to be asked during his first one-on-one date with Emily, then he clearly has no idea what this show is all about. Next!
Next: Meet Mr. Spontaneous. Name: Jean-Paul
Occupation: Marine Biologist
Hometown: Moraga, Calif.
Wild Card: He's a little too spontaneous.
Odds: In the span of three weeks, this guy managed to quit his job and sell everything he owned, all so he could travel the world for six months. Some may call it spontaneous, but Emily will probably see it as highly unstable. Proceed with caution.
Hometown: St. George, Utah
Wild Card: The name.
Odds: Seriously? Jef with one "f"? I'm sorry, I just can't take this guy seriously. Call it woman's intuition or whatever, but this guy just isn't f'ed up enough — and I mean that quite literally. What's in a name, you might ask? A lot in this case!
Occupation: Data Destruction Specialist
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Wild Card: He can cook.
Odds: Every girl loves when a guy knows his way around the kitchen. And the fact that he described it as being part of his ultimate date with a woman shows that he'd be more than willing to split cooking duties with his special someone. Whatever this guy's serving, rest assured Emily will want seconds!
Hometown: Dallas, Tex.
Wild Card: He loves Paul Newman for his philanthropic efforts. I think my heart just melted into a malleable form.
Odds: Looking good. He may have the hair of a buffer Ben Flajnik, but that’ll probably get him at least to the Hometown visits. He loves charity! What more do can you ask for?
Occupation:Luxury Brand Consultant
Hometown: Houston, Tex.
Wild Card: He stole his motto from Frank Sinatra: “You only live once … but if you’re like me, once is enough.” Gag me with a spoon. Go sell some solid gold toilets, Luxury boy.
Odds: Slim, if Emily knows what’s good for her. Even in that photo, he looks like he’s about to answer a yes or no question with “Cha.”
Next: Meet the Movie Buff. Kyle
Occupation: Financial Advisor
Hometown: Long Beach, Calif.
Wild Card: His all-time favorite movies are Zoolander, The Notebook, and Point Break, which means he clearly needs a Netflix account so he can see some more movies, but he knows enough about women to lie about how much he loved that damn Ryan Gosling movie.
Odds: He’ll stick around for a while, but the surfer boy shtick might wear thin midway through.
Occupation: Real Estate Consultant
Hometown: Laguna Beach, Calif.
Wild Card: His most embarrassing moment is losing his trunks and running down the beach naked. And now you’re wondering what he looks like naked. Which is exactly what he wanted. Perv.
Odds: He’s clearly got sex on the brain and he’s not afraid to make that known, but he’s cute and he comes from the lap of luxury. He’s got a decent shot to stick around for a while.
Occupation: Rehab Consultant
Hometown: Tahoka, Tex.
Wild Card: He’s Southern and he wishes he could be more like Ryan Gosling. If Emily dumps him, remind me to give him a call.
Odds: He played the Gosling card. He could go … all … the … way.
Hometown: Scottsdale, Ariz.
Wild Card: He prefers to be the center of attention: “I believe I was put here on Earth to lead people and spark them with enthusiasm.” Puh-leese. Translation: I’m an attention whore. Please don’t date me.
Odds: Not good. Emily’s a mother, this guy would throw a temper tantrum every time she devotes time to her child – a child who sparked her breakup with Bachelor Brad Womack.
Occupation: Marketing Manager
Hometown: Oak Creek, Wis.
Wild Card: He’s a family man, loves his Sunday morning Packers game ritual with the fam. But, he’s also got two tattoos, so he’s got a little edge too.
Odds: Fairly good. He’s got a nice mix of nice guy and bad boy, meaning he’s got some tattoos and he’s brave enough to mix a plaid shirt with that grey vest and slacks.
Next: Meet the Overly-Cocky. Ryan
Occupation: Pro Sports Trainer
Hometown: Augusta, Ga.
Wild Card: His biggest fear on a date is that his date will bore him. Next!
Occupation: Biology teacher
Hometown: Nova Scotia, Canada
Wild Card: He’s shy! In fact, he’s so shy he’s afraid to even dance. A shy teacher? How is that not breaking your heart? (Okay, his hair is a little pretentious, but still.)
Odds: They’d be better if he wasn’t so shy – he’s competing with 24 other guys, after all. But he seems like a sweetheart, and women are good at spotting those ones in a crowd. Don’t miss this one, Em!
Occupation: Party MC (I’ve checked, and the US Dept. of Labor does not recognize this as a legitimate career. That’s a lie, but it should be true.)
Hometown: Monroe Township, N.J.
Wild Card: He might actually be 15 years old: He wants to be Justin Timberlake, thinks Las Vegas is the most romantic city in the U.S., and his favorite romantic gift is a 25-page book about himself. He’s basically The Situation of Bachelorville.
Odds: Nada. Yeah, buddy.
Occupation: Lumber Trader
Hometown: Beaverton, Ore.
Wild Card: He lost his pants hopping a fence in Vegas, but at least he had the decency to mention that he wasn’t going commando. Now we’re imagining him in his underwear. He’s the PG version of Lerone.
Odds: He might be male Courtney. Sexy, manly profession? From a town that sounds made-up to go with his profession? Square jaw? He’ll be around for a while.
Occupation: Advertising Sales Rep
Hometown: Madison, Mo.
Wild Card: His perfect date: boat on a lake, dinner, wine, staring at the stars. It may be cheesy, but I still want to go to there.
Odds: Alright, alright, alright.
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Courtney Kerr navigates the lively Dallas social scene while building a brand new career. She took a leap of faith by quitting her stable job in fashion retail to pursue her exploding fashion blog full-time, hoping to make her mark on the industry she's obsessed with. It's not all Gucci and Prada as she goes through an emotional rollercoaster ride as she juggles her search for the perfect southern gentleman and a fast moving fashion career filled with amazing opportunities.