What's left for top unscripted cable TV programming in an age of rising and competitive streaming platforms?
Show off more ‘uncensored” language. Show off more reality. Eff'ing A!
Every new upcoming reunion for any and all “Real Housewives” series will be “uncensored” on Peacock.
What does that mean exactly? Well, c'mon.
Hear Andy Cohen, long-time Bravo host of those shows with his take on stuff -- at a special three-day BravoCon event. “Every reunion is going to be f***ing uncensored,” Cohen said during the panel as the audience cheered on. “Isn't it fun hearing the F-word? It's one of the joys of Peacock and all of them will be there, so I'm very excited.”
Peacock had been making the uncensored versions available for shows like “Below Deck Sailing Yacht”, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” “The Real Housewives of New York City,” “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” and “Vanderpump Rules.” Now there will be more content.
It seems NBCUniversal wants to do everything to lift the profile of its Peacock streaming service, making it a bit more special than what exists on traditional cable TV networks.
But what about those shows' initial cable TV network Bravo airings? Not so much.
Consider that unlike broadcast, there are still no FCC rules when it comes to profanity and other not-so-polite words on cable TV.
That's right. There have never been. Still, virtually all off-language stuff you can find on the likes of HBO, Showtime, Starz, and all the rest.
Why then haven't cable TV networks gone crazy?
Advertisers, of course. They don't necessarily want to be attached to programming with this kind of content -- especially as part of big media buys/plans that could include broadcast.
Years ago there were just a few ad-free formats in the space -- and everyone knew the rules. HBO could always say in its promo copy: “It's not TV. It's HBO.” For many, this meant the obvious -- racy content, edgy language and storylines that tease and tickle.
But now the TV landscape has a lot of overlap and competition -- especially among new digital video formats. All that means pretty much everything goes -- except for broadcast.
Bravo amping up uncensored, unfiltered content only sends a signal that all cable-based TV content is looking for any nook and cranny of differentiation that can pull in existing and new viewers.
What comes next?
Let's leap to the obvious: Disrobing must be next. Surely, the Bravo franchise wants to live up to brand name.
But it should go further: The real all-complete lives of housewives.