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Andy Cohen Reveals Exactly How He Reacted to the Success of Below Deck

The WWHL host opens up about the popularity of the Below Deck franchise, as well as why Bravo is "still an exciting place to be a part of."

By Jocelyn Vena

It all started when the Honor megayacht set sail back in 2013, and from there a phenomenon was born.

Below Deck premiered almost a decade ago with Captain Lee Rosbach at the helm (he remains the leader of that particular Below Deck franchise to this day). The upstairs/downstairs drama of the series captivated Bravo fans and made the yachties who worked the charters every season bona fide stars.

In the years since the OG Below Deck hit airwaves, the crews have changed around Captain Lee, but the tidal wave of love for the show has yet to slow down with more franchises being added and reunions for the seasons becoming appointment viewing, complete with walk-offs.

The fandom around anything and everything Below Deck is hardly a surprise to Andy Cohen.

In a recent interview with Bravo Insider, the Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen host shared how he responded to the fact that people just can't get enough of all the high seas drama, filled with wild guests and even wilder crews. "I was like, get a bunch more boats in the water, because I realized this could go on with different casts and different groups and different boats [and] as many places as we wanted to," he explained.

And that's basically what's happening. Below Deck Sailing Yacht Season 2 just wrapped with Captain Glenn Shephard facing new challenges. Below Deck Mediterranean Season 6 premieres on Monday, June 28 at 9/8c on Bravo. (And you can watch every episode a week early on Peacock starting Monday, June 21.)

Captain Sandy Yawn revealed some details about what to expect in the new season during a recent interview where she was joined by Captain Lee and Captain Glenn. In that same chat, Captain Lee recently teased what Season 9 of Below Deck will look like. The conversation on Bravo's YouTube channel marked the first time all three captains ever sat down together to share show secrets.

And there's more on the horizon. Back in May, it was confirmed that there are two new franchises in the Below Deck universe coming up. Below Deck Adventure, premiering early 2022 on Bravo, will feature wealthy thrill seekers as they get into all sorts of adrenaline-pumping activities on their luxury yacht vacation. Season 1 will take place in the glacial fjords of Norway. Coming to Peacock is Below Deck Down Under, which will follow yachties as they work and play on a superyacht sailing around Australia. The new series will also showcase a unique additional challenge for the crew as the guests expect not only an adventure on the water but also underwater with scuba diving and other activities as some of the main attractions of the region.

After Show
After Show: Captain Glenn Joins Gary King & Jerry O’Connell
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And while Andy admits that in his off-time he usually finds himself watching "a lot of documentaries. I don't watch a lot of TV TV," he admits he has love for one franchise in particular on Bravo: "I mean, it's got to be the [Real] Housewives."

The Real Housewives does hold a very special place in Andy's heart. Earlier this year, Andy, who serves as the executive producer of the franchise, celebrated the 15th anniversary of the premiere of The Real Housewives with a heartwarming Instagram and an even sweeter throwback photo. He wrote, "When I posed for this picture a week later, I had no idea the series would change the course of pop culture - and my life - forever. Thanks to each and every Real Housewife, and the incredible production teams from Evolution, Shed Media, Truly Original, Sirens, GoodBye Pictures, [and] Purveyors of Pop for keeping the series humming! (SIDENOTE: I’m not saying the Housewives turned my hair entirely Grey, but they did)."

Andy, who has been working at Bravo in one role or another for well over 15 years, then explained why he thinks viewers love tuning into the network's programming so much. "I think it's one of the last brands in television that matters, and I think it's really an incredible statement that the team at Bravo has been able to keep creating new big hits outside of the [Real] Housewives and Top Chef, which have been, you know, going for so long. That you've got Below Deck and Southern Charm and all these other shows, and it's still an exciting place to be a part of."

As for what will be the next big thing in reality TV, well, Andy, who recently reflected on the history of the genre in the series For Real: The Story of Reality TV, is also sitting at the edge of his seat to find out. "I have no idea. I mean, I'm waiting to find out. I mean, that's what's amazing," he said. "I just love when a great idea comes my way. You know, you know it when you hear it, you know?"

Want more WWHL? Catch new episodes Sundays through Thursdays and catch up on the Bravo app.