Entertainment Television

24 HOURS WITH ... ANDY COHEN!

By Nelson Branco, 24 Hrs

Real Housewives mastermind and Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen gives Nelson Branco the lowdown on Love Connection, Susan Lucci and that Atlanta finale. GETTY

Real Housewives mastermind and Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen gives Nelson Branco the lowdown on Love Connection, Susan Lucci and that Atlanta finale. GETTY

No one asks a direct, sometimes inappropriate question like Andy Cohen. "I consider it a gift," he tells me. The mastermind behind the Real Housewives franchises, host of late-night dishfest Watch What Happens Live and now the new face of Fox's reinvented dating show Love Connection (airing Thursdays on City at 9 p.m. ET), the 49-year-old silver fox bachelor and part-time author is becoming the King of Reality TV.

24 Hours spilled some tea with the St. Louis, Missouri native about Real Housewives of Toronto, his queen Susan Lucci and why his late-night talk show doesn't air in Canada.

CUPID-IN-CHIEF?

Not really! I mean, I like to try to hook friends up but I'm not really good at it. But having said that, we've had great luck with couples on

Love Connection.

REAL HOUSEWIVES OF TORONTO

I've never seen it, no!

LOVE CONNECTION

It's like a he-said, she-said about first dates. It's really funny and it has a lot of heart. You can play along at home. The format worked then but we updated it - and it works even better today. And we offer cash prizes in case someone's there for the wrong reasons! Working with Fox is like working for Bravo - they're both very embracing of who I am and what I do. They just want me to be me.

FIERY ATLANTA FINALE

Yes, it was intense. It was definitely the most exhausting. And shocking. I don't know if it was my favourite because ultimately it was upsetting. I can't say if Phaedra Park will be back next season yet. Obviously, I'm not sure if the other women will want to be on the show with her. That would be challenging.

CIAO TINDER!

Social media has caused people to judge others very quickly. There's something refreshing with this format because we set people up on blind dates we think they can connect with without an app or website. It's almost like a social experiment because they spend three to four hours with each other. It's old school but it works.

WHY CAN'T WE WATCH, WATCH?

I know Canadians aren't happy they can't watch Watch What Happens Live. I don't know why it's not airing in Canada. I wish I knew why. You have to ask Bravo what's happening. If it were up to me, it would air everywhere!

SUDSY PAST & FUTURE

Sure, I'd love to work with Susan Lucci. I was a big fan of All My Children. In fact, I first saw my friend Kelly Ripa on AMC. I also watched other ABC soaps and The Young and the Restless later. I didn't get any pushback for casting (Y&R's) Eileen Davidson and (Days of our Lives') Lisa Rinna on Beverly Hills. I've been asked to do a cameo on Y&R but I just haven't figured out the timing yet.