In the Daily News this morning, we learn that Bravo's leading man, the flamboyant and fun Andy Cohen, is developing a show about gay socialites ('mocialites, here at Daily Intel) to rival Logo's show The A-List: New York. Though Logo's viewership is too small to rate, the network clearly views the franchise as valuable, as they are expanding it to other cities. So Cohen wants in and is prepping a program based in New York called, seriously, From the Bottom to the Top. The goal is to find and feature a handful of men who are at the top of the gay social milieu here in New York. It will fail at that goal. But that's a good thing, and here's why:
1) To go on a non-competition reality show, you have to want attention. And chances are, you are not picky about what kind of attention you get.
2) As a result, reality shows tend not, by nature, to attract stars who are A-list in the traditional sense. They may lure in rich people or even powerful people, but rarely do they portray those who dominate their own social milieu. The latter group of people tend to be selective about the kind of attention they want to receive and are talented at getting it. In other words, they are careful about their image. They don't need a reality show to gain notoriety.
3) As a side note: The idea that there is one massive group of gay people in New York, and therefore one A-list is silly. But these shows seem aimed at a particular group of men to whom these rules apply.
4) The kind of gay New Yorkers who would want to be on a reality show, it can be assumed, are aware of The A-List and how its stars come across. (In a word: wretchedly.)
5) Therefore, the kind of people who would agree to be on a similar show, particularly one called From the Bottom to the Top, are in fact prepared to look like assholes. Either that, or they think that they can outsmart the Bravo reality machine and come across exactly the way they want to. (And therefore are crazy.)
6) So, as with the popular Real Housewives franchise, the show will feature a gang of men who may not be particularly influential in their own social tribe, but it will feature a bevy of boys who are members of said tribe who want attention for attention's sake. Which is actually the best of both worlds, because social climbers, attention seekers, and crazy people make the most wonderful television.
7) And judging by the names mentioned in today's Gatecrasher column in the Daily News, the five guys they've picked so far are perfect examples of the genre. Look at their coolness qualifications!
• Book publicist Kenneth Gillett (Points in his favor: one Patrick McMullan photo; FameGame rank of 90452. Points against: 39 Facebook friends in common with Intel Chris.)
• Fashion-showroom owner Joey Giuntoli (Points in his favor: twelve Patrick McMullan photos; FameGame rank of 29608. Points against: 33 Facebook friends in common with Intel Chris.)
• Penguin designer Kristopher Haigh (Points in his favor: zero Patrick McMullan photos; No FameGame rank. Points against: 37 Facebook friends in common with Intel Chris. Uh-oh.)
• Factory PR founder Mark Silver (Points in his favor: 47 Patrick McMullan photos; FameGame rank of 9132. Points against: a full 88 Facebook friends in common with Intel Chris.)
• Interior decorator Jordan Carlyle (Points in his favor: nine Patrick McMullan photos; FameGame rank of 86236. Points against: 36 Facebook friends in common with Intel Chris. Bonus: Hottie Jordan's boyfriend is the bodacious underwear model Christopher Fawcett. Dating a model basically negates all FB friends a person may have in common with Intel Chris.)
They are all adorable, successful, and presumably have big personalities. And, in a rare turn of events, at least three of them actually appear to be good friends with one another. They have Facebook profile pics that were shot by professional photographers and involve a lot of pouting. In other words, they are so ready for their close-ups.
8) This is the kind of person that will make fun television. Everyone knows that people who are too image-conscious are terribly boring to watch. And to those people that worry that it will be bad for gays, consider this: As a genre, "gay people" are getting beamed into houses all over the country with the same treatment that's been given so popularly to the "housewives" genre. If that doesn't indicate progress, I don't know what does.
Wow, I can't believe I just had eight thoughts about something that is called From the Bottom to the Top. Actually, wait. Yes I can.
Bravo honcho Andy Cohen is putting the call out for new show to compete with 'The A-List: New York' [NYDN]
Update: As some commenters have noted, Andy Cohen recently Tweeted: "HEY EVERYBODY: Do you really think Bravo is doing a show called "From the Bottom to the Top"?!? We're not." Notably, he didn't say they weren't doing a show starring these guys — just that it wouldn't be called From the Bottom to the Top. While that is a huge loss for everyone, I think, we here at Intel hear that the show is very much in the works, with this cast.