Andy Cohen

Host / Producer / Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his one-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Andy Cohen talks about his childhood in St. Louis, and his early love of television. He then talks about starting his professional career with a college internship at CBS News (on CBS This Morning)  then details his rise to Senior Producer and his years working at 48 Hours, including a memorable piece the show did on Nicholas Sparks. He talks about what he learned there, about "letting the reality tell the story". Cohen then moves on to his tenure as Senior Vice President of Original Programming at the cable channel TRIO, and how that opportunity led to his eventual move to Bravo. He tells stories about the production of Project Runway, the development and casting of Top Chef, and the impact that Queer Eye for the Straight Guy had on Bravo's identity as a network. He also details the development of The Real Housewives of Orange County and discusses various cast members and the controversies and tragedies that have rocked the franchise over the years. Finally, Cohen discusses Watch What Happens Live, and his approach to hosting his own late night show. Jenni Matz conducted the interview on July 27, 2015 at the Bravo Clubhouse in New York, NY.

"As a host, I hope that my legacy has been bringing a sense of genuine fun and excitement and enthusiasm and celebration of people and pop culture to a completely unique, uncensored, spontaneous environment."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Andy Cohen on the Top Chef catchphrase "Pack Your Knives and Go"
Andy Cohen on why Watch What Happens Live is one of the accomplishments he's proudest of in his career
Andy Cohen on how he learned the "Bravo wink" from working at 48 Hours
Andy Cohen on coining the term "Bravolebrities"
Andy Cohen on the popularity of The Real Housewives franchise
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on internships and studying Broadcast Journalism at Boston University; on working his way up from intern to Senior Producer at CBS News
On working at 48 Hours; on his mentors; on becoming Vice President of Original Programming at the cable channel TRIO
On becoming Senior Vice President of Original Programming & Development at Bravo; on the Bravo audience and the "golden age" of the network
On his role as Executive Producer of Project Runway; on the development and casting of Top Chef

Chapter 2

On the genesis of The Real Housewives of Orange County; on working with non-actors on reality shows
On casting Bethenny Frankel on The Real Housewives of New York City; on the start of Watch What Happens Live; on the importance of social media to Bravo programming
On how drama in the personal lives of cast members of The Real Housewives impacted production of the show; on The Real Housewives  reunion specials
On the legacy of The Real Housewives franchise; on Watch What Happens Live; on advice to aspiring television executives and hosts
Shows

48 Hours

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Andy Cohen on how he learned the "Bravo wink" from working at 48 Hours
Andy Cohen on producing a 48 Hours piece on Nicholas Sparks and how his philosophy of using intensely personal moments in reality shows has changed since

Battle of the Network Reality Stars

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Andy Cohen on his take off on Battle of the Network Stars, Battle of the Network Reality Stars

Battle of the Network Stars

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Andy Cohen on his take off on Battle of the Network Stars, Battle of the Network Reality Stars

CBS Early Show, The

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Andy Cohen on booking Mariah Carey for The CBS Early Show

CBS News

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Andy Cohen on working his way up from intern to Senior Producer at CBS News
Andy Cohen on interning at the CBS News show, CBS This Morning and interviewing Robin Williams

Miss USA

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Andy Cohen on hosting the Miss U.S.A. and Miss Universe  pageants

Miss Universe

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Andy Cohen on hosting the Miss U.S.A. and Miss Universe  pageants

Project Runway

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Andy Cohen on his role as Executive Producer on seasons two through five of Project Runway

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

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Andy Cohen on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and his first experience with "regular people" becoming stars
Andy Cohen on how the five areas of expertise of the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy hosts helped shape the future vision of Bravo as a network

Real Housewives of Orange County, The

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Andy Cohen on the genesis of The Real Housewives of Orange County
Andy Cohen on the story behind the title The Real Housewives of Orange County
Andy Cohen on how The Real Housewives franchise, born out of The Real Housewives of Orange County, is like a soap opera and also like "anthropology or sociology of the rich"
Andy Cohen on how Jill Zarin changed her look and behavior from one season to another of The Real Housewives of New York City
Andy Cohen on the casting of Bethenny Frankel on The Real Housewives of New York City and her role on the show
Andy Cohen on "the White House crashers" on The Real Housewives of D.C.
Andy Cohen on how Bravo handled the suicide of the husband of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member, Taylor Armstrong
Andy Cohen on The Real Housewives reunion specials and how the first Atlanta reunion came to be
Andy Cohen on the popularity of The Real Housewives franchise
Andy Cohen on the legacy of The Real Housewives franchise

Saturday Night Live

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Andy Cohen on participating in "The Real Women of SNL" sketch on Saturday Night Live's The Women of SNL special

Top Chef

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Andy Cohen on the Top Chef catchphrase "Pack Your Knives and Go"
Andy Cohen on casting the first season of Top Chef for personality and later seasons for cooking talent
Andy Cohen on the development and casting of Top Chef and the replacement, after season 1, of Katie Lee Joel with Padma Lakshmi

Watch What Happens Live

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Andy Cohen on announcing the death of Osama bin Laden on Watch What Happens Live
Andy Cohen on why Watch What Happens Live is one of the accomplishments he's proudest of in his career
Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live
Andy Cohen on how writing a blog for the Bravo website led to him hosting Watch What Happens Live
Topics

Advice

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Andy Cohen on advice to aspiring television executives
Andy Cohen on advice to aspiring television hosts

Barack Obama

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Andy Cohen on announcing the death of Osama bin Laden on Watch What Happens Live

Characters & Catchphrases

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Andy Cohen on the Top Chef catchphrase "Pack Your Knives and Go"

Fame and Celebrity

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Andy Cohen on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and his first experience with "regular people" becoming stars

Historic Events and Social Change

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Andy Cohen on announcing the death of Osama bin Laden on Watch What Happens Live

Memorable Moments on Television

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Andy Cohen on announcing the death of Osama bin Laden on Watch What Happens Live

Network Creation

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Andy Cohen on Barry Diller offering him the opportunity to be Vice President of Original Programming at the cable channel, TRIO

New Media

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Andy Cohen on the importance of social media to Bravo programming

Pivotal Career Moments

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Andy Cohen on what he learned from not getting a job at the cable channel Logo

Pop Culture

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Andy Cohen on the Top Chef catchphrase "Pack Your Knives and Go"

Television Industry

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Andy Cohen on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and his first experience with "regular people" becoming stars
Andy Cohen on Barry Diller offering him the opportunity to be Vice President of Original Programming at the cable channel, TRIO
Andy Cohen on the importance of social media to Bravo programming
Andy Cohen on his contribution to television and his legacy as a television host
Andy Cohen on his biggest contribution to Bravo
Andy Cohen on advice to aspiring television executives
Andy Cohen on advice to aspiring television hosts

Television and the Presidency

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Andy Cohen on "the White House crashers" on The Real Housewives of D.C.
Andy Cohen on announcing the death of Osama bin Laden on Watch What Happens Live

War

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Andy Cohen on announcing the death of Osama bin Laden on Watch What Happens Live

War on Terror

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Andy Cohen on announcing the death of Osama bin Laden on Watch What Happens Live
Professions

Executives

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Andy Cohen on advice to aspiring television executives

Hosts

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Andy Cohen on advice to aspiring television hosts
Andy Cohen on advice to aspiring television hosts

Television Executive

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Andy Cohen on advice to aspiring television executives
Genres

Late Night

View Genre
Andy Cohen on announcing the death of Osama bin Laden on Watch What Happens Live
Andy Cohen on why Watch What Happens Live is one of the accomplishments he's proudest of in his career
Andy Cohen on participating in "The Real Women of SNL" sketch on Saturday Night Live's The Women of SNL special
Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live
Andy Cohen on how writing a blog for the Bravo website led to him hosting Watch What Happens Live

News and Documentary

View Genre
Andy Cohen on booking Mariah Carey for The CBS Early Show
Andy Cohen on how he worked his way up from intern to Senior Producer at CBS News
Andy Cohen on interning at the CBS News show, CBS This Morning and interviewing Robin Williams
Andy Cohen on how he learned the "Bravo wink" from working at 48 Hours
Andy Cohen on producing a 48 Hours piece on Nicholas Sparks and how his philosophy of using intensely personal moments in reality shows has changed since

Reality TV

View Genre
Andy Cohen on his role as Executive Producer on seasons two through five of Project Runway
Andy Cohen on the Top Chef catchphrase "Pack Your Knives and Go"
Andy Cohen on casting the first season of Top Chef for personality and later seasons for cooking talent
Andy Cohen on the Top Chef catchphrase "Pack Your Knives and Go"
Andy Cohen on the development and casting of Top Chef and the replacement, after season one, of Katie Lee Joel with Padma Lakshmi
Andy Cohen on his take off on Battle of the Network Stars, Battle of the Network Reality Stars
Andy Cohen on how the five areas of expertise of the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy  hosts helped shape the future vision of Bravo as a network
Andy Cohen on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy  and his first experience with "regular people" becoming stars
Andy Cohen on the genesis of The Real Housewives of Orange County
Andy Cohen on casting Bethenny Frankel on The Real Housewives of New York City and her role on the show
Andy Cohen on how Jill Zarin changed her look and behavior from one season to another of The Real Housewives of New York City
Andy Cohen on announcing the death of Osama bin Laden on Watch What Happens Live
Andy Cohen on why Watch What Happens Live is one of the accomplishments he's proudest of in his career
Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live
Andy Cohen on how writing a blog for the Bravo website led to him hosting Watch What Happens Live
People

Mariah Carey

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Andy Cohen on booking Mariah Carey for The CBS Early Show

Tom Colicchio

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Andy Cohen on Tom Colicchio's reaction to the cast of the first season of Top Chef
Andy Cohen on the development and casting Top Chef  including the hiring of Tom Colicchio as judge

Barry Diller

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Andy Cohen on Barry Diller offering him the opportunity to be Vice President of Original Programming at the cable channel, TRIO

Jimmy Fallon

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Andy Cohen on his appreciation for Jimmy Fallon's support of Watch What Happens Live

Padma Lakshmi

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Andy Cohen on the development and casting of Top Chef and the replacement, after season one, of Katie Lee Joel with Padma Lakshmi

Susan Lucci

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Andy Cohen on interviewing Susan Lucci and the relationship between reality shows and the downfall of soap operas

Joan Rivers

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Andy Cohen on his admiration for Joan Rivers and having her as a guest on Watch What Happens Live

Tom Shales

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Andy Cohen on a review Tom Shales wrote about The Real Housewives of Orange County

Dionne Warwick

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Andy Cohen on Dionne Warwick's appearance on Watch What Happens Live on the night of Bobbi Kristina Brown's death

Robin Williams

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Andy Cohen on interning at the CBS News show, CBS This Morning and interviewing Robin Williams

Lauren Zalaznick

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Andy Cohen on meeting one of his mentors, Executive Lauren Zalaznick while working at the cable channel, TRIO and how she eventually brought him over to Bravo
Andy Cohen on the development and casting of Top Chef with Executive Lauren Zalaznick

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