Andy Cohen…You Are My SXSWi Hero

Hands down, the best panel I have been to so far during SXSWi has been “Top Chef: How Transmedia is Changing TV.” As a newbie to both SXSWi and Top chef, I was pleasantly surprised with the flow of this panel…and I must say, the props go to Andy Cohen, Bravo’s Executive Vice President of Development and Talent, for his humorous and engaging flow of the panel.

Not only did he do a great job of integrating Twitter feeds into his questions/banter throughout the conversation with Top Chef’s head judge, Tom Colicchio, he never let a dull moment go by. Had I had a glass of Pinot Noir at 11:00am, I would have participated in his game of drinking anytime someone said the word, “chef.”

Overall, what an impressive panel of risk takers and innovators in the TV space. The panel included:

– Andy Cohen:Bravo’s Executive Vice President of Development and Talent

– Tom Colicchio: Head Judge/Top Chef

– Dave Serwatka: VP of Current & Cross Platform Productions

– Lisa Hsia: Executive Vice President, Digital Media, Bravo

– Aimee Viles: VP. Emerging Media, Bravo

For those that did not watch Top Chef Texas, this was the first time they integrated social media and an online component onto the TV show. Chef’s that were eliminated from Top Chef had a chance to compete in an online competition called “Last Chance Kitchen” in an effort to get back into the final 4. Who would have thought that a concept like this would lead to 8 million streams and 26% of viewers engaging in online content?

Thus far, this seems to be the best example of how a network and show has integrated their viewers and online audience into a television show.

Bravo is a great example of how story telling across multiple platforms can be successful. Because of this success I plan to track their next big media play of co-creation content by fans in the upcoming season of Real Housewives of NYC.

As Lisa Hsia said, “…you need an evangelist and need to show results in the social space.” I think Bravo is well on their way to being the leaders in Transmedia. Can’t wait to see what you do next.


For mroe about this session, please visit:

Check out more of Andy’s happenings at @BravoAndy


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