Andy Cohen’s chat show renewed through the end of 2009, says Bravo “happen[s] to be gay.”

Andy Cohen’s oddly watchable chat show Watch What Happens Live has been renewed by the network where he is a vice president in charge of programming. While that may seem suspicious, the New York Times reports that he’s not the one responsible for it being on the air.

Besides the fact that he didn’t create the show, Cohen told the paper, “If I had green-lit my own show, do you think I would have made it once a week at midnight on Thursday? For only 12 weeks? Give me 10 o’clock. An hour. Monday nights.” But Thursday nights at midnight is working, as the series–executive produced by Michael Davies–now “attracts an average of 700,000 viewers, including almost 500,000 in the 18-to-49 age group,” according to the paper, and Bravo has extended the 12-episode order until the end of 2009.

The paper politely notes that “he is still very much a TV host in training,” which is the understatement of the month. But while it’s frustrating on the reunion shows, it’s kind of fascinating at midnight.

Andy Cohen is also profiled in October’s issue of The Advocate, and the story runs through his work day and explores the network’s gay sensibility, saying that “Housewives is providing its gay viewers with exactly what they crave and expect from the network: faux-aspirational, self-referential, self-parodied, relatable entertainment.”

Reality producer Randy Barbato says Bravo has “a real, modern approach to being gay from a modern gay: Andy Cohen.”

And that modern gay himself says that “I feel like we’re gay in 2009 in a way that so many people are gay in 2009, which is that we happen to be gay. We’re not hitting you over the head with people’s sexuality. Millions of women and their husbands are huge fans of Flipping Out or Work Out, and they’e saying, ‘Wow, you know, these people happen to be gay.’ Brad [Goreski] on The Rachel Zoe Project happens to be gay, but the show isn’t about him dating men. That is such a powerful way to present gay people in 2009.”

That’s all well and good, and the network does have represent a diverse array of gay (and straight) people, but perhaps Brad from The Rachel Zoe Project isn’t the best example ever, considering that he’s a walking stereotype.

Cable Executive Gets a Taste of Reality TV [New York Times]
Andy Knows Best [Advocate]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.