[10/18/06 - 03:59 PM]
Bravo and Time Warner Cable Bring Interactive Television Back for 'Top Chef' Viewers
Feature will allow viewers to respond with their remote control to a series of topical questions and voice their opinions about the contestants.

[via press release from Bravo]



Interactive Application Sponsored Exclusively by Sears

New York, NY - October 18, 2006 - Bravo and Time Warner Cable team up again to bring interactive television back for the second season of Bravo's hit one-hour reality competition series "Top Chef," premiering tonight at 11:00 p.m. Last season's interactive television polling drew nearly 30 percent participation in the available Time Warner Cable markets.

In addition, Sears will be the exclusive sponsor for the interactive application and will have logo presence and text prompts during the program. Sears was among the traditional advertising sponsors Bravo previously announced along with Toyota and Glad for "Top Chef."

Beginning with tonight's premiere and continuing throughout the season during its regular time on Wednesdays at 10:00pm/ET, Time Warner Cable, through its use of Navic Networks' interactive television application, will allow viewers to respond with their remote control to a series of topical questions and voice their opinions about the contestants. The polling will appear as overlay generated by viewer's set-top boxes that will be synchronized to occur at precise moments during the one-hour show. Navic Networks' technology will record and compile the votes and display the results to viewers in real time in each of their local markets.

"We're thrilled to partner again with Time Warner Cable and continue to innovate in interactive television," said Jean-Briac Perrette, Senior Vice President, New Media and CFO, NBC Universal Cable. "This season should be an even bigger success given the popularity of the show and the interactive application."

"We are excited for the return of this applications for the second season of Bravo's 'Top Chef,' and for once again providing our digital customers with a truly interactive television experience, giving them the ability to actively participate in what they watch," said Bob Benya, Senior Vice President of On Demand and Interactive TV for Time Warner Cable. "Time Warner Cable continues offering its customers an increasing array of value added services such as this Interactive feature."

Bravo also continues its overall series partnership with Food & Wine magazine to include the expertise of the publication's Gail Simmons as a regular on-air judge, and prizing for the winner of "Top Chef" to be featured in an upcoming issue of Food & Wine and appear at the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.

Bravo's newest hit reality competition series "Top Chef" offers a fascinating window into the competitive, pressure-filled environment of world-class cookery and the restaurant business at the highest level. The series features fifteen aspiring chefs who compete for their shot at culinary stardom and the chance to earn the prestigious title of "Top Chef." Each episode holds two challenges for the chefs. The first is a quickfire test of their basic abilities and the second is a more involved elimination challenge designed to test the versatility and invention of the chefs as they take on unique culinary trials such as working with unusual and exotic foods or catering for a range of demanding clients. The competing chefs live and breathe the high-pressure lifestyle that comes with being a master chef, and each week someone is asked to "pack up their knives" and go home.

Best-selling author Padma Lakshmi will host the new season. Tom Colicchio, one of the culinary world's most celebrated figures and co-founder of New York City's Gramercy Tavern and Craft Restaurants, serves as lead judge and head chef to the competing chefs. Food expert Gail Simmons of Food & Wine magazine is as a judge for the series.

About Bravo

Bravo is the cable network that plugs people into arts, entertainment and pop culture with original programming, acclaimed drama series, movies, comedy and music specials, and by showing a whole different side of celebrities. Currently available in more than 80 million homes, Bravo is known for breaking exciting new personalities, shaking up the way we look at style, media, fame and Hollywood, pulling back the curtain on the creative process, and making influential and inventive original programming. Its critically acclaimed original programming includes the Emmy-nominated "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List," 12-time Emmy-nominated "Inside the Actors Studio," "The Real Housewives of Orange County," "Top Chef," "Celebrity Poker Showdown," as well as the 2004 Emmy winner for Outstanding Reality Program, "Queer Eye," and the four-time Emmy-nominated hit competition series, "Project Runway."

About Time Warner Cable

Time Warner Cable owns and manages cable systems serving 13.5 million subscribers in 33 states. Passing approximately 26 million homes, Time Warner Cable includes some of the most technologically advanced and best-clustered cable systems in the country, with nearly 85 percent of the Company's customers located in five geographic regions: New York, Texas, Ohio, the Carolinas and southern California. Leveraging its leadership in innovation and quality customer care, Time Warner Cable delivers advanced products and services such as video on demand, high definition television, digital video recorders, high-speed data and Digital Phone. Time Warner Cable is a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX).

About NBC Universal Cable

NBC Universal Cable, a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's preeminent media companies, drives the company's cable strategic development and growth including video-on-demand, pay-per-view, HDTV and retransmission consent, and oversees the cable distribution, marketing and local ad sales of fourteen properties (Bravo, CNBC, CNBC World, MSNBC, mun2, NBC Weather Plus, SCI FI, ShopNBC, Sleuth, Telemundo, Telemundo Puerto Rico, Universal HD, USA and the Olympics on cable). NBC Universal Cable also directs and manages the company's cable and new media investments including A&E, The History Channel, History Channel International, The Biography Channel, National Geographic International, the Sundance Channel and Tivo.

About Navic Networks

Navic Networks is the leading targeted advertising and interactive television solutions provider to the cable and direct broadcast satellite industry. Navic's technology powers interactive applications on over 29 million digital set-top boxes in North America. Navic Networks is a privately held corporation headquartered in Needham, Mass. For more information, visiti www.navic.tv.

  [october 2006]  


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