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.
SEPTEMBER 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live+SD Primetime Ratings Comparison August 2012 vs. August 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
September 2012: Bravo did make some gains versus under-performing August, but it is not back up to the levels it was hitting in July or last year. Compared to September 2011 Bravo’s primetime took a 15% tumble on core women 18-49 while women 25-54 dropped by 9%. The average viewing audience was older on every night vs. last year, for a median age increase of 11% on total prime.
America’s guilty pleasure, THE REAL HOUSEWIVES, is Bravo’s guilty pleasure as well. Sworn off creating new editions of the franchise, the net can’t seem to help but schedule the program around the clock. This month four different editions (NYC, NJ, Miami and Atlanta) were running on five nights of the week. Together, the HOUSEWIVES accounted for 48 hours of primetime, which is nearly half the schedule. They also accounted for well over half of the primetime ratings, with Sunday night’s REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NJ two-part finale topping the charts. At the other end of the spectrum, Saturday night repeats and themed blocks of ATLANTA (a Nene-thon) fell at the very bottom of the ratings rankers.
On Mondays, the REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NYC in its fifth season is performing at the same level as the regular episodes of NJ, which is in its fourth season. However, the ladies of NYC lost over one-third of their audience from their premiere month in August. They were also used to lead-in to new program GALLERY GIRLS. Apparently in a geographic stack, Monday night’s New York themed shows came in second to New Jersey on Sundays. GALLERY GIRLS improved vs. last month’s premiere performance, upping its women 18-49 audience by 34%. While it drops audience from NYC, it was the only program outside of the HOUSEWIVES franchise to top the monthly primetime average on the women 18-49 demo.
In the real estate category, FLIPPING OUT’s premiere telecasts were strong, but the show was over-exposed and the encores failed to pop the numbers. MILLION DOLLAR LISTING NY and MILLION DOLLAR LISTING LA each had a few unsuccessful telecasts as well.
TOP CHEF MASTERS finished out its season this month with fizzling ratings. Ratings slipped week to week through-out September, falling below the primetime average in its second to last episode. The finale improved, but the fading premieres combined with the encores pushed the program rating below the primetime average and Wednesday nights fell by more than 20% vs. both last year and last month.
REAL HOUSEWIVES OF MIAMI’s second season premiered on Thursday September 13th with a boost from NJ. In subsequent weeks it was a full Miami stack, and audiences stuck with the program – there was no drop-off after the premiere. Still, it ranked third among the HOUSEWIVES franchises on the air this month. East coast HOUSEWIVES are trouncing the HOUSEWIVES from the South. Next month we will see how the west coast BEVERLY HILLS ladies stack up.
In a sign that the programming load was light this month, movies were much more prominent than usual, appearing on the line-up on eight different nights. Theatricals usually underperform Bravo’s originals, and this month was no exception.