Streaming's Real Purpose Revealed: Bravo Uncensored!

Rather than just air its raucous “Reunion” shows complete with f-bombs on its regular basic cable channel, Bravo says its uncensored meet-ups between the participants of its contentious reality shows are headed to Peacock.

This news came out of Bravo’s annual fanfest, BravoCon, held November 3-5 in Las Vegas. Andy Cohen divulged the plan on Friday in a session titled “Ask Andy.”

The plan calls for all uncensored versions of Bravo’s reunion episodes to stream on NBCU’s Peacock the day after they air on Bravo, now and into the future.

An announcement from Bravo indicated that some uncensored reunions have already gone to Peacock. 



The point of the announcement was to clarify that from now on, all of them will go to Peacock, which already streams the rest of Bravo’s shows on the day after they air.

“Following success with uncensored reunions of ‘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’ [seen in the photo above], Peacock and Bravo are partnering to provide this additional benefit to its avid viewers,” the Bravo announcement said.

“Uncensored reunions will stream on Peacock the day following their Bravo airdate,” the release said. “Peacock is the official streaming home of Bravo with all Bravo series available to stream next-day.” 

From a business standpoint, it’s not a bad idea. Obviously, the company hopes that offering uncensored versions of its reunion shows will incentivize Bravo’s “avid” fans to sign up for Peacock, which trails the other majors (and some non-majors) in subscriptions.

But from a standards and practices standpoint -- if such a thing as “standards and practices” still exists -- NBCU could just as easily play these uncensored shows on Bravo.

Why not? F-words and other language once considered taboo on ad-supported TV are becoming commonplace -- if not on the broadcast networks, but certainly on basic cable.

If memory serves, Bravo’s reunion shows got their start with the “Real Housewives” shows. They are the special episodes that come after the conclusion of a season in which the participants recap the season’s highs and lows, make peace and settle scores.

Like the regular-season episodes of all the drama-packed Bravo reality shows, the reunion shows are known for their angry confrontations, during which the bleeped words fly.

I am probably old-fashioned, but to me, bleeped profanity is as effective (if not more so) than uncensored profanity. The “bleep” sounds make it that way.

In addition, what makes the prospect of hearing f-words unencumbered by bleeps so tantalizing that someone would actually pay to subscribe to Peacock just to hear them?

Perhaps the allure of uncensored Bravo reunion shows involves more than just language.

Streaming versions of the Bravo reunions might also be unedited or, at the very least, run for far longer than the original Bravo versions. Maybe that’s the unique selling proposition.

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