UPDATED: Andy Cohen has been walking that delicate line between being a top Bravo executive and one of the network’s most recognizable personalities. He won’t walk it anymore. Cohen is stepping down from his post as head of development for Bravo Media. He is launching a production company, Most Talkative, which has signed a multi-year first-look deal with Bravo, the network’s first pact of this kind. The pact, which starts at the beginning of 2014, allows Cohen to develop and pitch projects to all NBCUniversal networks, broadcast and cable. Additionally, his Bravo late-night talk show Watch What Happens Live has been renewed for two more years. He also will continue to host Bravo’s reunions and specials and serve as executive producer on The Real Housewives franchise. “Andy has influenced the course and the shape of Bravo tremendously over the past 10 years as a production and development executive, and as creator and host of our flagship late night show, becoming the face of the network,” said Frances Berwick, President of Bravo and Oxygen Media. With Cohen’s departure from his executive duties, VP Development Lara Spotts will assume the role as head of Bravo’s development team, reporting to Berwick. Cohen will carry on with his executive duties for the next couple of months, helping Spotts transition into the job. Cohen started at Bravo in 2004 as VP of Original Programming & Development and was upped to SVP and then EVP of Original Programming & Development in December, 2010. Watch What Happens Live started in 2007 as an online after show for Top Chef and the following year for Project Runway. It then migrated to TV as a weekly midnight show before gradually expanding to five nights. It was when WWHL began airing five nights a week two years ago that Cohen began contemplating a departure from the executive ranks to focus on the show and his producing but waited until the show was on solid footing while also making sure he was leaving the network in good shape. Cohen is expected to continue to develop unscripted shows while also pursuing scripted projects. “The thing is consistent about the work that I have done is finding great people whom I love and telling their stories in a different way,” Cohen said. He plans to use WWHL as an incubator for series ideas. “It is a vortex of pop culture where I get to meet people of all different backgrounds,” he said, adding that, while listening to his guests’ stories, he would be thinking on the back of his mind if they had potential for a compelling TV show.
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