It's early yet, but Warner Bros.’ The Real appears to be setting a growth trend in its second season so far.
Compared to its September 2014 debut, The Real in its premiere week showed gains among all key female demographics, growing 33% among women 18-34 to a 0.4 from a 0.3, 25% among women 18-49 to a 0.5 from a 0.4, 50% among women 25-54 to a 0.6 from a 0.4 and 33% among adults 25-54 to a 0.4 from a 0.3, according to Warner Bros. research.
No other show has shown similar second-season growth since Debmar-Mercury’s WendyWilliams and Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz in 2010.
The Real leads out of WendyWilliams in 16 out of 25 top markets and the pairing seems to be working. In those markets, The Real is retaining 100% of its lead-in among women 25-54 and women 18-49. On Fox-owned WNYW New York, The Real is tying ABC’s The View as the top-rated program among women 25-54 at 11 a.m.
“This show in its second year is taking off,” says Ken Werner, president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. “It’s adhering like sticky paper to its lead-ins.”
Nationally, however, the show’s growth is less evident. It debuted this season at a 1.1 live-plus-same-day rating in week ended Sept. 20, according to Nielsen Media Research, and fell back 9% in week 2 to a 1.0, even with last year’s series premiere. The Real saw a small bump among women 25-54 with its season opener, moving up 13% to a 0.9 from a 0.8. Some of that is because while Fox is continuing to air the show after WendyWilliams, other stations downgraded it this season, making it harder to show growth in the national ratings.
This season, Warner Bros. brought in a new executive producer, Rachel Miskowiec, to help broaden the show. Miskowiec comes to The Real from Disney-ABC’s Katie and Warner Bros.’ Lifechangers, among other programs.
For the season premiere, Miskowiec booked Bobby Brown, who talked about the tragic death of his daughter with Whitney Houston, Bobbi Kristina Brown.
“Ratings are about growth and evolutionary change,” says Miskowiec. “We’ve made the ‘Girl Chats’ that open the show more topical, and adjusted our shooting schedule so we can tape 24 hours before we go to air. That allows us to talk about timely things just like Wendy, The View and Live, all of which are live in the morning.”
Miskowiec also has ratcheted up the show’s social game, making sure that social is woven in and out of the program.
“We gave our social channels their own voice this year,” she says. “Last year, they were mostly a marketing tool but now our social pages have a voice and that voice matches the show. We’re taking a full 360 approach, having a constant conversation with our viewers and incorporating what they say into the show.”
According to social media analytics company Shareablee, The Real, with more than 1.5 million fans, is syndication’s fifth most-social show in total interactions. That follows Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, which is far and away the leader, and CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight, NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey and CBN’s The 700 Club.
“I think our show appeals to daytime audiences because people just like the girls,” says Miskowiec, referring to show stars Adrienne Bailon, Loni Love, Tamar Braxton, Jeannie Mai and Tamera Mowry-Housley. “We have such a diverse table in terms of opinions, so their discussions are always lively.”
CRIME WATCH DAILY RISES TO TOP SPOT AMONG ROOKIE SHOWS
Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily was the top-prated syndicated rookie in households and daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 in the week ended Sept. 27, the show’s second full week on the air. The show held steady with its premiere week at a 0.8 live-plus-same-day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Disney-ABC’s FABLife and NBCUniversal’s Crazy Talk tied for second in households, with FABLife slipping 13% from week 1 to a 0.7 and Crazy Talk growing 17% to a 0.7. Among women 25-54, Crime Watch Daily shared first place with Crazy Talk, each at a 0.5. Panel talker FABLife turned in a 0.4.
Crime Watch Daily is cleared on Tribune-owned stations in afternoons in top markets, while FABLife is cleared in daytime on ABC-owned and affiliate markets. Crazy Talk, a reality/talk hybrid, is cleared mostly on independent stations.