Saturday, September 1, 2012

How Bravo went from highbrow docs to ‘Dallas’

The Gobe and Mail's Kate Taylor  on the remake of the Bravo channel:

"The Ewings of Southfork have been having a wild summer over on Bravo: rivalries between big oil and alternative energy, a wedding and two break-ups, various death-defying health scares and a campaign for the governor’s office. Yup, that’s the new Dallas , and its summertime run helped make Bravo, according to its press material, the fast-growing specialty channel in Canadian prime time.
"Wait a second. Isn’t Bravo the arts channel? Documentaries about ballet companies. Interviews with esteemed film directors. That kind of thing.
"Not any more. Since the channel was first brought into the CTV stable in 2006-2007, and more rapidly since Bell bought back CTV in 2010, Bravo has concentrated more and more on U.S. dramas and less and less on arts programming. Today the only shows listed on its website that suggest its roots as the “NewStyleArtsChannel” created by Moses Znaimer and CHUM in 1994 are the U.S. interview show Inside the Actors Studio and a Canadian reality series called Way Off Broadway. Gone are the arts magazines Bravo! News and Arts & Minds, documentaries about artists, concert shows and interview programs such as Spectacle: Elvis Costello with ... In their place are the Canadian co-produced historical drama The Borgias, and the U.S. crime dramas Suits and White Collar.
"It’s a loss that may finally get an airing at hearings this month when Bell goes before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to defend its acquisition of yet more specialty channels through its purchase of Astral. . . ."

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