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Bravo announces Andy Cohen extension, production deal

"Watch What Happens Live" host Andy Cohen just received a two-year contract extension from Bravo plus a development deal for the company he just launched. (Jan. 9, 2012) Credit: AP

Andy Cohen has now officially entered that aery and lucrative realm occupied by so few other (Ryan Seacrest comes to mind.). Calling it "the first deal of this kind for Bravo," the network has handed Mr. "Watch What Happens Live" a two-year contract extension and a development deal for the company he just launched.

Perhaps most significantly, Cohen will step down as the network's long-running executive in charge of programming and development. In that role, Cohen has had one of the more unique executive mandates — to host a popular talk show and launch numerous series, many of which (most notably the "Real Housewives" franchise) transitioned Bravo into one of NBCUniversal's most successful networks.

Lara Spotts, currently vice president of development, will take over Cohen's role.

Here's his statement:  “In my 23 years as a television producer, my time at Bravo has been the most rewarding and this next phase of my career is the perfect marriage of everything I love doing — producing and broadcasting,” said Cohen. 'Watch What Happens Live' is the show I have dreamt about hosting all my life — it's the exact extension of my love for pop culture and fun. I'm thrilled to launch my production company Most Talkative and to continue my role as EP of the ‘Housewives’ — I couldn’t imagine leaving behind women that have become a part of my daily life.”

Bravo's deal with its biggest star is of the "first look" variety, meaning it can pass on something — unlikely — which would then free him up to take it elsewhere.

But as far as viewer/fans are concerned, there shouldn't be much change — Cohen will continue to referee his popular late night fracas.

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