via press release:
UPFRONT BY BRAVO MEDIA REDEFINES INDUSTRY STANDARD ON MARCH 30TH WITH STAR-STUDDED EVENTS IN NY, LA AND CHICAGO
Simultaneous Presentations Feature Live Cut-Ins From
Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi in LA, Gail Simmons in Chicago And Bravo’s Andy Cohen in NY During “Top Chef All-Stars” Finale
Special “Watch What Happens Live: Top Chef Finale” hosted by Cohen to Feature First Interview with “Top Chef All-Stars” Winner and Fan Favorite, March 30 at 11 p.m. ET/PT
NEW YORK – March 22, 2011 – On March 30th, Bravo will redefine the upfront, an annual event for advertisers that has historically been viewed as a trade only affair. As part of the network's efforts to set new benchmarks across all platforms, Bravo Media today announced plans to host simultaneous presentations in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago hosted and attended by Bravo talent that combine the expected upfront fare with a mix of live ‘Bravolebrity’ cut-ins during the network's broadcast of the “Top Chef All-Stars” finale on Wednesday, March 30th. This unprecedented initiative will – for the very first time – allow home viewers a glimpse into this "invitation only" advertising soiree while providing the clients attending the events, the opportunity to mix and mingle with Bravolebrities and be part of the “Top Chef All-Stars” finale broadcast via the live cut-ins.
Additionally, host of “Watch What Happens: Live,” Andy Cohen will host both the New York dinner party with live cut-ins from the Big Apple and a special “Watch What Happens Live: Top Chef Finale” immediately following the finale; while “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi will be in Los Angeles and “Top Chef” judge Gail Simmons will anchor in Chicago. Live cut-ins from Lakshmi, Simmons and Cohen will begin airing in the re-broadcast of the penultimate episode in the 9 p.m. ET/PT hour leading up to and throughout the 10 p.m. ET/PT finale.
“We wanted to create a brand new and uniquely interactive experience both for the viewer at home and our advertising partners centered around our signature franchise ‘Top Chef,’” said Frances Berwick, President Bravo Media. “This interactive evening extends the Bravo experience into the viewers’ homes allowing them to engage with their favorite chef’testants, while simultaneously giving our clients the unique opportunity to be part of ‘Top Chef All-Stars’ finale history.”
Susan Malfa, Senior Vice President of Ad Sales, Bravo Media and Oxygen Media, added: "When advertising partners come to us, they expect a distinct brand experience for their clients. This watercooler event underscores how we deliver on that promise and will give attendees real insight into how the Emmy Award winning Top Chef franchise and all our network content, can be uniquely designed for customers needs. This is integration on a whole new level."
Adding another level to the Upfront experience, guests of the live finale viewing parties will be treated to interactive elements and will be served dishes as seen on the finale of the “Top Chef All-Stars” broadcast. In New York, the menu will be prepared by the finalists themselves; and in Los Angeles and Chicago, guests will also enjoy the same recipes served throughout the finale. Guests and fans will be able to follow the action with the Bravo Now app, which gives users a ticket to our exclusive coast-to-coast Top Chef finale viewing parties, allowing them to follow the conversation and check in on party guests, ‘Bravolebrities’ in attendance and fellow “Top Chef” fans with Bravo’s Tweet Tracker.
For access inside the party, fans can visit BravoTV.com for a seat at the exclusive “Top Chef All-Stars” finale viewing parties, letting fans share in the festivities with @Bravotv’s Tweet Tracker and go behind-the-scenes with exclusive photos and fun facts from the set of the finale. And after the winner’s announced, users can also find out exactly how our All-Star champ was selected with an exclusive Extended Judges' Table video and a sit down interview with the winner Viewers will hear Tom Colicchio, Lakshmi and Simmons’ unfiltered thoughts on the finale in their blogs. Have a beef with the winning chef? Settle that score with a Tweet Battle, debating with your friends, and letting other fans cast their votes. And for users that disagree with the outcome, they can crown their own champ with BravoTV.com’s “Virtual Top Chef” that features all 18 chef'testants from the current "Top Chef All-Stars" season. Fans began by choosing their favorite chef'testant, then earned points and trophies by completing actions and activities on BravoTV.com. The chef’testant whose team has the most points come season’s end will be honored with the "Virtual Top Chef title" and $5,000.
The star-studded night continues at 11 p.m. ET/PT as Cohen interviews the winning chef live in a half-hour post-finale “Watch What Happens: Live” special. Other guests on the show include the "All Stars" runner-up, “Top Chef” talent from all three cities as well as other Bravolebrities at the finale parties. For the first time, the Fan Favorite for the “Top Chef All-Stars” season will be announced live during the special – awarding the fan-chosen chef a prize of $10,000. Viewers will be able to vote for their favorite chef from March 2 through March 24 via text message, Twitter, on BravoTV.com, and from their mobile phones at m.BravoTV.com.
"Top Chef All-Stars" is produced by the Emmy Award-winning Magical Elves. Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz serve as executive producers. "Watch What Happens Live" is produced by Embassy Row for Bravo. Michael Davies serves as executive producer.
Bravo is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Bravo has been an NBCUniversal cable network since December 2002 and was the first television service dedicated to film and the performing arts when it launched in December 1980. For more information, visit www.BravoTV.com. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BravoPR.