Perhaps more than any other network in cable, Bravo has a "feel." It's bright, highly energetic and exudes an urban, upscale, sassy sensibility. The network has kept that vibe from becoming snobbish or off-putting with a winking admission that this is all just good, light, entertaining fun -- and everyone's invited. And though that's mostly work accomplished in development, production and post efforts, it's also a scheduling strategy. There's almost never a show on Bravo's air that feels out of place. So, even though they stack very heavily, a viewer watching at, say, 9pm every night, will see a different program each day, but still feel very much a Bravo viewer.
Bravo defines and schedules its programming around themes of food, fashion, beauty, design and pop culture, and plans to add digital themed program in the upcoming season.
MAY 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live+SD Primetime Ratings Comparison May 2012 vs. May 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
MAY 2012: The HOUSEWIVES continued to dominate Bravo this month, leading the primetime average to a 9% drop on women 18-49 vs. both last year and last month. Compared to last month, Bravo was able to hold or gain audience on every night of the week, except signature night Sundays, which had a big enough impact to negatively affect the bottom-line.
The HOUSEWIVES and their spin-offs were all over the schedule and on the top of the ratings charts again this May. Topping the chart was REAL HOUSEWIVES OF OCEAN COUNTY in its seventh season, with BETHENNY EVER AFTER (a HOUSEWIVES spin-off) right behind. REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY in their fourth season pulled the highest rated telecasts of the month. DON’T BE TARDY FOR THE WEDDING (another spin-off) in its debut season was strong on premiere telecasts, not so much in its 17 encores. There were also a handful of under-performing social specials of OC and BETHENNY. All told, there were 64.5 hours of HOUSEWIVES and company out of the 84 available primetime hours in May. Add in the movies, and there isn’t too much left.
PREGNANT IN HEELS was the best-rated non-HOUSEWIFE program on the line-up. Returning for a second season, it landed the desirable timeslot of Tuesday night at 10PM, following the new episode of OC each week. While HEELS grew nicely vs. last year and managed to handily top the primetime average, it loses more than half the lead-in given to it by the OC ladies.
Wednesday nights feature INTERIOR THERAPY WITH JEFF LEWIS and AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 PLATES. INTERIOR THERAPY was strong, overindexing the bottom-line average. AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 PLATES, Bravo’s newest culinary venture is not as strong. Its debut underperformed the average, and ratings fell with each successive week.
Thursday night is the premiere night for TARDY. It has been getting the Bravo-style treatment of multiple runs and mini-marathons around the schedule as programming execs help audiences find the program. The strategy seems to be working, as the program’s new telecasts are performing well ahead of last month’s. KATHY is not faring as well; it is down 10% vs. last month.
Friday and Saturday still feel like throw-away nights on Bravo. They are filled with movies and unpredictable encores of TARDY or one of the HOUSEWIVES. They are easily the lowest rated nights of the week.