Monday, September 18, 2006

Bravo Announces New Reality Series BETTER HALF - Starring Susie Essman

Series To Be Hosted By CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM Star Susie Essman

Production Begins Shooting This Month In New York City

Bravo partners with IMG Media to bring viewers BETTER HALF, which was previously announced as a series in development under the title WAR OF THE WIVES. Hosted by CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM star Susie Essman, this new one-hour six episode competition series begins production this month in New York City. The announcement was made by Frances Berwick, EVP, Programming & Production, Bravo.

In each episode, the spouses/mates of two trained professionals, such as chefs, comedians, party planners, hairstylists, square off in competition. The professionals have two days to coach their novice partner to take on their jobs and beat the opposing "better half" in a final challenge for a lucrative prize. Each week, three judges renowned in the featured line of work will assess how well each couple executed the job handoff. Skilled in managing her own "better half," the outspoken and honest Essman will shadow, needle and critique how the couples listen, learn and love without killing each other first.

"BETTER HALF puts a new spin on Bravo′s reality competition programs that explore creative professions," said Berwick. "It′s a fresh perspective to see the process of a specialist teach a novice their trade and see inside of that creative profession. There′s also the added drama of the experts training their partners. I don′t know many people who like having their spouse tell them what to do. "

Susie Essman has played the venomous Susie Greene for all four seasons of the critically-acclaimed HBO comedy series, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. Susie is the no-nonsense wife of Larry David′s cheerful agent Jeff Greene. Essman′s streetwise vernacular also suggests the contrast between Curb′s L.A. setting and her real life preferred location--New York. The Manhattan-based Essman is a veteran of the world of standup comedy, logging thousands of performances on the Gotham comedy circuit. She has appeared in her own half-hour HBO comedy special, hosted the American Comedy Awards, and performed on Comedy Central′s "The Friar′s Roast of Jerry Stiller", "Politically Incorrect" and "Latenight with Conan O′Brien". Her other television credits include appearances on "Law and Order", "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" and "The King Of Queens". Essman has appeared in the films "Keeping The Faith", "The Siege", "Volcano," "Punchline" and "The Man." Her talent and audacity made her a natural choice to perform off-Broadway in the play "The Vagina Monologues." Susie was the voice of Helen Higgins in the puppet animation/crank call series "Crank Yankers" on Comedy Central.