The SXSW Interactive Featured Session Feature: Andy Cohen of Bravo

Written by Hugh Forrest | January 27, 2014

Catch Andy Cohen on Friday, March 7 at SXSW Interactive

Featured Sessions at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival showcase some of the world’s most innovative thinkers. Today’s installment of the Featured Session Feature focuses on Andy Cohen of Bravo. At SXSW, catch his session “Super Fandom in the Digital Age” session on Friday afternoon, March 7 at 5:00 pm. Also part of this “Super Fandom” session are Ze Frank, Grace Helbig, and Tyler Oakley.

Television personality Andy Cohen serves as the host and producer of Bravo’s Watch What Happens: Live, an Emmy Award winner and a New York Times best-selling author. He has overseen a slew of unscripted programming for the cable network and hosted various Bravo reunion programs as well as the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. Last year, Cohen was named among Fast Company’s 100 “Most Creative People in Business".

Cohen, who served as Bravo's Executive Vice President of Development and Talent from 2011 to 2013, has been producing television for more than 23 years. He helped launch the Real Housewives reality TV series in 2005 and remains the franchise’s Executive Producer. Cohen also produced Emmy-winning cook-off show Top Chef and has overseen a full slate of reality series that includes Project Runway, Queer Eye, Work Out, Being Bobby Brown, Top Design, Kathy Griffin My Life On the D List, The Millionaire Matchmaker and Shahs of Sunset. He often hosts Real Housewives specials and reunions, programs that have averaged 2.7 million viewers an episode.

As the host of Watch What Happens: Live, Cohen sits down with a wide array of movers and shakers in the entertainment business, from Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep and Diane Von Furstenberg to Jerry Seinfeld, Mike Tyson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Live, which began as a web series and premiered on late night TV in 2009, is now a five-nights-a-week enterprise. The program has drawn praise for its sharp, irreverent wit as well as Cohen’s ability to land interesting and compelling guests.

“It’s the perfect storm,” Cohen has said of Live. “I get to do the three things I’m most passionate about - producing, developing and hosting for a brand that I love.”

In November 2013, Bravo announced that it had renewed the show for an additional two years. The company also inked a deal for the first rights to unscripted programming from Cohen’s new production company, Most Talkative.

“He has created legions of cultural-touchstone programs and left an indelible imprint on the network,” Bravo and Oxygen Media president Frances Berwick recently said of Cohen, calling him “the face of the network.”

In his memoir, Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture, Cohen tracks his life’s journey from the St. Louis suburbs to hosting and developing shows on the small screen. He also tells of the assorted, and fortunately hilarious, hurdles and mishaps that he encountered along the way. From a pop culture obsessed kid to overseeing Bravo’s reality TV empire, Cohen explains how he turned his passion for entertainment into a successful career.

Cohen joined Bravo after 10 years at CBS News as Senior Producer of "The Early Show" and a stint as Vice President of Original Programming for TRIO.

In his life outside of television, Cohen serves as a board member for Friends in Deed, a crisis center that provides emotional and spiritual support for people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening physical illnesses. He lives in New York City.

Register now to be part of the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival and attend the “Super Fandom in the Digital Age” session on Friday afternoon, March 7 at 5:00 pm. For the full picture of all sessions and evening events at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival, visit the day-by-day schedule page.

Andy Cohen photo courtesy of Bravo.