Bravo is gearing up for its biggest year in 2012, adding 25 percent more original programming to its lineup, including a new talk show hosted by Kathy Griffin.
Griffin will helm “Kathy,” a weekly chat fest featuring her take on recent headlines and gossip, as well as stand-up and celebrity interviews. The comedian will also tape two new one-hour comedy specials for the network this year.
At the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., on Saturday, Bravo also announced the pickup of what it calls the network’s “most ambitious” series to date: “Around the World in 80 Plates.” Celebrity chefs Curtis Stone and Cat Cora host this “Amazing Race”-meets-“Top Chef” food competition, which sends 12 chefs across 10 countries in 44 days to compete in culinary challenges. The series will debut in May.
Other new series also bring back familiar faces or concepts. OCD house-flipper Jeff Lewis helps people redesign their homes in “Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis” (premieres March 14 at 9 p.m.). “Million Dollar Listing New York” brings the successful California real estate series to the East Coast (premieres in March). The terribly titled “Don’t Be Tardy for the Wedding” follows Real Housewife Kim Zolciak’s million-dollar wedding to Kroy Biermann and will premiere this spring. And another Real Housewife, Kandi Burruss, will receive a special, “The Kandi Factory,” following her quest to turn two music artists into pop stars (premieres, March 4 at 10 p.m.).
Rounding out the new lineup are “Shahs of Sunset,” featuring young Persian-American friends balancing an L.A. lifestyle with their cultural traditions (premieres in March), and “Love Broker,” following NYC matchmaker Lori Zaslow. “The Ring Leader” is a special documenting wedding planner Kristin Banta and her out-of-the-box style (premieres Feb. 27 at 10 p.m.).
Returning series not already on the midseason schedule include “Watch What Happens: Live,” which switches to a five-nights-a-week format on Jan. 8 at 11 p.m.; “Tabatha Takes Over” (Jan. 10 at 10 p.m.); “Inside the Actors Studio” (Jan. 31 at 8 p.m.); “Bethenny Ever After” (Feb. 20 at 9 p.m.); “Pregnant in Heels” (spring); “The Millionaire Matchmaker” (TBD); and “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles” (TBD).