It's the little late-night talk show that could. Next week, Watch What Happens Live — the kooky, wildly unpredictable chat-fest hosted by Andy Cohen — marks its fifth year on the air. That's no small feat, considering its very humble beginning as a shoestring web series anchored by a largely unknown Bravo network executive. Since then, plenty has changed. For starters, Cohen has become a celebrity in his own right, with one bestselling book down and a second due in the fall. And the ratings have grown. About 334,000 people tuned in for the first televised episode in 2009; this spring, WWHL hit an all-time high of 3.9 million viewers, and it's up 7 percent over Conan this season. The star power is also higher wattage. Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan and Oprah Winfrey are among the guests who have partaken in the mélange of parlor games, free-flowing cocktails and general pop-culture revelry that's made the pint-size "Bravo Clubhouse" ground zero for countless watercooler moments. We sat down with Cohen in his Manhattan studio to relive the wild ride...read more
There's another serious new player in the ever-expanding universe of online original-content providers (see: Netflix and Hulu) — and happily, Amazon's entry into this suddenly cluttered marketplace is not just seriously funny, but it's as bracingly timely as the latest exasperating political headline.
Alpha House (three episodes bow Friday on amazon.com, with future episodes available to Amazon Prime subscribers) is satire at its most blistering and biting, delivered by a master of the trade: Doonesbury's Garry Trudeau, whose contempt for political cynicism, venality and hypocrisy doesn't keep the jaded protagonists of this bawdy, brazen comedy from being great company. The setting is a Washington, D.C., row house, home away from home for four Republican senators, led by the fearlessly outrageous John Goodman as a good-old-boy/former football star who's outraged to discover he won't be able to coast through his next election. (His new opponent: a legendary Duke coach. As someone observes: "You're like a retired god. He's active.")read more
Amazon has announced premiere dates for its first two original series, Alpha House and Betas.
Alpha House will premiere on Nov. 15, while Betas will bow a week later on Nov. 22. The first three episodes of each show will be available immediately to all Amazon customers for free. After the first episodes premiere, Amazon will release one episode weekly via its Prime Instant Video service, for Amazon Prime subscribers.read more