‘Girlfriends’ Guide’ Marks Bravo’s First Push to Scripted Shows

Most people only know Bravo for its seemingly endless supply of Real Housewives shows. But now, the network is launching its first ever original scripted series, entitled Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce. The trailer for the new dramedy was released on Monday and everyone—from Housewives fans to the biggest Bravo skeptics—will probably be equally surprised to learn the channel’s first non-reality show doesn’t look half-bad. Actually, it looks pretty funny.

The show, starring Lisa Edelstein (House), is based on Vicki Lovine’s bestselling Girlfriends’ Guide series of books. It follows Edelsten as Abby, a self-help book author whose her own life turns to shambles when she catches her husband, Jake, (Paul Adelstein) cheating and her marriage falls apart. She ends up turning to her divorced friends, an entertainment lawyer Lyla (Janeane Garofalo) and a former model Phoebe (Beau Garrett) for their advice, all the while trying to keep it together publicly, for the sake of her career.

While the story line may not exactly be a groundbreaking concept, the first look at the show holds plenty of both comical moments (when Abby admits to saying Jake’s name while sleeping with another man for the first time since the divorce, because it’s “like a third of my sex vocabulary”) and more emotional ones (when her kids confront her about her and their father’s broken relationship) that, at the very least, proves the cast has good chemistry. Not to mention, the show is in good hands with Marti Noxon, former writer and producer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Mad Men, on board as the Girlfriends’ Guide showrunner.

So does the network’s decision to air Girlfriends’ Guide mean a push for the channel towards a more scripted space? Bravo’s development exec Lara Spotts tells Entertainment Weekly the channel has been slowly looking to launch an original series for the last four years, but wanted to make sure it was the right show.

“When we saw Girlfriends’ Guide, we said this is the thing we’ve been waiting for,” Scott sad, “Marti Noxon is such a fantastic writer, and her script was so funny and so real…It’s hilarious, it’s set in a very Bravo-feeling world…it really checked so many of the boxes that we were looking for.”

The show was originally developed as a half-hour series at Showtime before ending up in an hour-long slot at Bravo. Noxon says the move helped make the series “richer,” which isn’t surprising as the channel, though typically home to reality TV only, still seems like a better fit, particularly given the series’ focus. After all, what does Bravo do better than female-centric shows about tumultuous marriages and complicated friendships?

In any case, viewers willing to give the series a chance will also get to catch sight of some great guest stars, including Carrie Fisher as Abby’s long-time book editor and Laverne Cox, who is reportedly playing Adele Northrop, an LGBT activist and award-winning war journalist. Girlfriends’ Guide is slated to premiere on December 2 at 10 p.m.

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