It’s no secret that Jerry O’Connell loves Bravo, which is why it makes perfect sense for this funny guy to get his own talk show on the network. And while there’s no doubt this show will be entertaining, people took issue with the original name for the show, Real Men Watch Bravo. However, O’Connell, Andy Cohen and the Bravo team have righted that wrong, and O’Connell revealed the show’s new name on Build today.
NBCUniversal announced the show last month. In this late-night talk show, O’Connell and a panel of male celebrities, comedians, and tastemakers will be talking all things Bravo programming, from Real Housewives to Below Deck to Million Dollar Listing and beyond. Why O’Connell? Because the Crossing Jordan star is “truly a walking encyclopedia of Bravo history,” says the network.
“Now, listen, I watch pretty much every show on Bravo. I just love it. I love the network. I have such a fun time watching it with my wife,” he said on Build. “We love every Real Housewives franchise. We love every Below Deck franchise … I love Vanderpump.” In fact, he thinks Jax Taylor is one of the most dynamic characters on all of television. “And I love going on Andy Cohen’s show, Watch What Happens: Live. It’s so fun for me because I get to meet those celebrities in person. I got to sit next to Jax Taylor,” he gushed.
So, it’s a good fit. But the original name was not; people were offended by its exclusivity. Jezebel claimed it suggested “men we already knew watched Bravo (read: gay men like the network’s other talk show host and Real Housewives executive producer Andy Cohen) weren’t real men at all.” Huffington Post described O’Connell as a soon-to-be “Bravo evangelist to straight men who secretly like soapy television but apparently need another straight man to assure them that such a preference does not negate, lessen or affect their masculinity.” Twitter was not much happier. “@Andy ‘real men’ meaning straight white men? Who are the ‘not real men’ exactly? Asking for a buuuuuuunch of friends. Lmk. HMU. Kisses,” one user wrote in response to O’Connell’s tweet announcing the show. “Horrible title,” remarked another.
So, they did what all real men should do: They listened. “We did have a title … I’m not gonna say it because it, rightfully so, caught a lot of heat,” O’Connell admitted on Build. “I, we want to apologize for that title; we didn’t think it was as insensitive … we heard everyone’s voices when we came out with that title.” He promised that he, Cohen, and Bravo are very inclusive. “We don’t want anyone to feel excluded in any way.”
He then announced that the show has a new name. “I did just hear that we have changed the title officially and it’s gonna be called Bravo’s Play by Play,” he revealed. “So, there will be no more mention of gender in that title or anything; we’re really sorry about that. We really heard everyone’s issues with it and we made sure to change it.” In case it wasn’t obvious, he explained that they went with this name because “it’s almost like looking at it like it’s a sports show — we’re gonna take you through, play by play of what happened on Bravo that week.”
But the name wasn’t the only drama surrounding this show that hasn’t even aired yet (it’s set to premiere this fall). It seemed as if there would be no women involved in the show, and that pissed people off. “There were some rumors, completely false, that it was only going to be men on the show,” O’Connell noted. He swore that would not be the case, because he desperately wants his favorite Bravo stars to make appearances. “That’s insane. … If you think we are not begging Ramona, Bethenny, Countess, Dorinda, Ramona, Nene, yes, I’m gonna say it, Phaedra … I’m gonna be begging them all to come. I said Ramona, right? Sonja, Carole. We wanna hear from Carole.”
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