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Bravo: Curtis Stone to Host Top Chef Masters Season 3

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Bravo put out a press release announcing many things today. First up, Top Chef Masters will return for a third season later this year with Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone as host. Whither host of season one and two Kelly Choi? Does that mean she is out? Apparently so, Choi tweeted, "Congrats to my awesome friend @curtis_stone for taking helm of Top Chef Masters, you're gonna have a blast!"

In the press release, Bravo called Stone their "newest 'Bravolebrity'" which is a totally gross word we will never use seriously. Stone is no stranger to TV, having done a bunch of cooking shows in Australia before coming stateside and doing things like competing on The Celebrity Apprentice 3 and hosting two seasons of TLC's now canceled Take Home Chef. He'll also be one of the judges on NBC's upcoming America's Next Great Restaurant which premieres in March.

Second, in case you feared Top Chef All-Stars would be the end of the Top Chef franchise, the network announced casting will begin on the ninth season of Top Chef.

Third, Rocco DiSpirito's Rocco's Dinner Party — which incidentally is still casting — will premiere in April.

The full press release:



New Premieres Include “Rocco’s Dinner Party,”“Million Dollar Decorators” And “Pregnant in Heels”

PASADENA, CA. – January 13, 2011 – Coming off of its fifth consecutive best-year-ever across all platforms; ranking as the No. 13 network in primetime among all cable entertainment networks in the coveted adult 18-49 demo and the No. 5 cable network among women 18-34; Bravo Media announced it will increase the network’s must watch original programming by an additional 20 percent in 2011. The network successfully expanded to five nights of original primetime programming last November, delivering more breakout stars and ratings juggernauts to the most engaged, upscale and educated audience in cable. Bravo continues to translate buzz into reality with new and inventive competition and docu-series that tap into the network’s "passion groups" of Food, Fashion, Beauty, Design and Pop Culture. The latest series confirmed to premiere include “Platinum Hit,” “Rocco’s Dinner Party,” “Million Dollar Decorators” and “Pregnant in Heels.” The announcements were made today by Frances Berwick, President of Bravo Media.

“Bravo continues to expand the hours of original programming, bringing viewers even more outsized hits that embrace pop culture and showcase big name talent such as Rocco DiSpirito, Jewel, Kara DioGuardi, and our newest ‘Bravolebrity’ Curtis Stone,” said Berwick. “We are known for evolving projects into cultural touchstones and we look forward to continuing that with our upcoming slate of creative new series.”

Two of the most accomplished songwriters, Jewel and Kara DioGuardi, share their experience and expertise in the network’s new music competition series “Platinum Hit.” Twelve aspiring songwriters battle through a series of innovative challenges testing their creativity, patience and drive as this unique creative process is unveiled for the first time. The series, which was previously announced as “Hitmakers,” will premiere Summer 2011.

In April, “Million Dollar Decorators” will explore the professional and personal lives of some of LA's hottest high-end interior decorators and their million dollar budgets. Also launching the same month, “Pregnant in Heels” will follow maternity concierge Rosie Pope as she advises her privileged and demanding Manhattan clients and expecting mothers on everything from planning baby showers to organizing a portrait of a new mother naked on her horse. “Rocco’s Dinner Party,” where chefs compete to throw the ultimate dinner party for Rocco DiSpirito and his celebrity friends, will premiere later this year.

Powerhouse series returning on a new night include, season four of “The Real Housewives of New York” on Tuesday, February 15 at 10pm, “Million Dollar Listing” season four on Thursday, February 3 at 9pm, “The Real Housewives of Orange County” season six on Sunday, March 6 at 10pm and “Watch What Happens: Live” hosted by Andy Cohen on Tuesdays and Sundays at 11pm.

Bravo confirmed new season orders for "The Rachel Zoe Project” season four, "Flipping Out" season five and "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist" season two. Season five of “The Millionaire Matchmaker” has been greenlit after concluding the most successful season on Tuesday (1/11). After getting married last year, the newly titled series, “Bethenny Ever After” is back for a second season premiering Monday, February 28 at 10 pm. As previously announced last week, Kathy Griffin will be back with four all new stand-up comedy specials that will air quarterly in 2011 and Donny Deutsch will dispense his love advice to viewers during an interactive live special, “Love Calling” (working title) on Thursday, January 27 at 11pm. Additionally, the network announced casting will begin on the ninth season of “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters” will return for a third season later this year with Curtis Stone as host.

· All Top Chef Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Top Chef Masters Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Curtis Stone Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· Who the Hell Is Curtis Stone? [-E-]