New TV Show Targeted Toward ‘Real Men’ Forced To Change Name After Backlash from Left

Actor Jerry O'Connell holds a football in a trailer for "Bravo's Play by Play," which originally was named "Real Men Watch Bravo." (Bravo screen shot)

The Bravo network announced in July that actor Jerry O’Connell would be hosting a new late-night talk show this fall called “Real Men Watch Bravo.”

The show’s name, an apparent reference to the fact that Bravo’s viewers are mostly women and gay men, sparked an immediate backlash. Critics slammed it as “homophobic” and “sexist.”

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Within days, the network announced it would change the name.

“Bravo has always prided itself on being inclusive,” it said in a statement. “This show is a tongue-in-cheek celebration of all things Bravo featuring a diverse range of perspectives. The original title was not meant to be exclusionary in any way, but we hear you and will be announcing a new title shortly.”

O’Connell issued an apology in early August. “There will be no more mention of gender in that title or anything; we’re really sorry about that. We really heard everyone’s issues with it, and we made sure to change it,” he said, according to the New York Post.

The show’s new name has been revealed: “Bravo’s Play by Play.”

Bravo announced Tuesday that the three-episode limited series will debut Sept. 24 at 10 p.m. Eastern.

The network initially said the show would feature O’Connell and “a panel of male celebrities, comics, and tastemakers to chat about all the buzziest moments on Bravo and other hot topics in pop culture.”

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But the actor said his show won’t be all-male. O’Connell tweeted that he would be “BEGGING” female Bravo personalities to appear, including “Real Housewives” stars NeNe Leakes, Sheree Whitfield and “Countess” Luann de Lesseps.

The word “male” was removed in Bravo’s announcement Tuesday.

“Each episode will find Jerry sitting down to dish about all the buzzy Bravo moments alongside a panel of actors, comics, tastemakers, and athletes,” it said.

The premiere episode will feature UFC fighter Brendan Schaub, Esquire editor-at-large Dave Holmes and comedian Michael Yo.

Bravo embraced realty television in the early 2000s with LGBT-oriented hits like “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and “Project Runway.” A 2008 survey found the network to be the most “gay-friendly” company.

This post was last modified on September 6, 2018, 11:16 am