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.
JULY 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live+SD Primetime Ratings Comparison July 2012 vs. July 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
JULY 2012: Bravo was not able to improve its audience vs. last month, and it took an 18% drop on women ratings. But things were looking up vs. last year. Core women 18-49 ratings improved by double digits on each of the highest rated nights – Monday, Tuesday and Sunday. The only night to show a steep decline was Thursday, with a 49% drop in women 18-49, which was enough to hold down bottom-line growth to just 7%.
Not so coincidentally, the nights with the big growth and the big ratings are the REAL HOUSEWIVES nights. Bravo seems to have an endless flow of the franchise streaming through its line-up. This month viewers caught the finale of OC, which led into the usual post-season flurry of reunions and specials. NEW JERSEY was running on Sunday nights in its fourth season while NEW YORK was airing its fifth season on Mondays. The ebb and flow of the various premieres, numerous encores plus the special presentations is the heart of Bravo’s schedule, and all of the series in its various iterations were doing well this month (with the exception of the social specials).
Another highlight of the month was the return of TOP CHEF MASTERS to the Wednesday night line-up. AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 PLATES finished up its first season with ratings just below the primetime average. TOP CHEF MASTERS took its place with ratings that were 65% better. Also on Wednesdays, MILLION DOLLAR LISTING LA had a couple of decent runs for its premieres, but the multiple encores couldn’t hold up.
Thursdays took the biggest dive this month. Nothing could match the big finale of DON’T BE TARDY FOR THE WEDDING last month, but ratings were down significantly vs. last year as well, when THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NYC were in the house. This July’s multiple runs of Emmy-nominated Kathy Griffin specials and REAL HOUSEWIVES OF OC repeats were not up to the task. KATHY, the primetime talk show received an Emmy nod and a renewal notice for a second season, but its women 18-49 ratings were down 60% vs. last month when it was getting the TARDY lead-in.
Friday and Saturday remain throw-away nights, as the primetime line-up is generally filed with HOUSEWIVES encores and movies.