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.
OCTOBER 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live+SD Primetime Ratings Comparison August 2012 vs. August 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
October 2012: With some savvy scheduling of encores and specials, Bravo was able to hold onto its audience from September, but it is delivering at a lower level than it was this time last year. The audience was also significantly younger last year. Median age rose 11%, and on nearly every night the 25-54 audience grew at a better pace than the 18-49 audience. Bottom line, women 18-49 ratings were down 15% vs. last year while women 25-54 ratings were down by just 5%.
Again this month various editions and specials of HOUSEWIVES dominated the primetime line-up. Nearly 55 hours of primetime was dedicated to REAL HOUSEWIVES programming. There were five different editions on the air this month, with ATLANTA, BEVERLY HILLS, MIAMI, NYC and NJ all in play. NYC pulled some of the highest rated regular season telecasts in its Monday night slot. Miami attempted to titillate with episode titles like SEXTING CANDLES, EAGER BEAVER, and BRAS AND BRAWLS (a two-parter) on Thursdays, and then moved to Sunday when New Jersey’s season (and post-season) ended. New Jersey excelled with its brand extensions – social editions, a three-part reunion, lost footage shows, two first-look specials and a Manzo-thon (part 3). There was one new episode of NJ this month, (the finale, part 2) and 26 post-season specials.
With all the break-out specials and schedule maneuvers, it is tricky to isolate performance for the programs, but we will give it a go.
On Monday nights THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NYC improved vs. last month, but could not hold up to the BEVERLY HILLS performance from Monday nights last year. The finale of GALLERY GIRLS underperformed last month’s ratings, and there is no word of a renewal for the show. The last week of the month featured a “LOST FOOTAGE” marathon from the NYC and NJ series, but it was the lowest rated week of the month.
On Tuesdays, FLIPPING OUT was backed down to just one episode a week, and the lack of repeats helped both the program average and the premiere episode ratings. REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NJ encores ran from 8 to 10, and the night as a whole grew women ratings by about 10% vs. last month. Compared to last year’s fashion-themed nights (RACHEL ZOE, MAD FASHION AND FASHION HUNTERS), female ratings are down 24% for younger women but just 3% for women 25-54.
The TOP CHEF franchise is struggling on Wednesday nights. TOP CHEF MASTERS underperformed over the summer, and LIFE AFTER TOP CHEF doesn’t seem to be catching on in this fall, delivering lower numbers than last year’s TOP CHEF JUST DESSERTS. The mothership TOP CHEF goes to Seattle in November, and its performance will be an important indicator of the vitality of TOP CHEF and its extensions.
REAL HOUSEWIVES OF MIAMI gave Thursdays a boost this month, and the REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY lead-in gave MIAMI a boost. Numbers for the night are up 44% for women 25-54 and 19% for women 18-49 vs. last year. Growth was strong compared to last month as well.
Friday and Saturday remain largely ignored, consisting primarily of movies and encores from past seasons. However Sunday is the signature night where the best of the best is showcased. REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY performed well ahead of the rest of the pack. The social editions and lost footage episodes generally underperformed regular episodes and reunions. The last week of the month featured ATLANTA from a past season, a visiting MIAMI episode and a REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA HAIRSTYLISTS TELL ALL SPECIAL. Although it was the lowest rated Sunday of the month, Bravo’s PR department sums up the night in a nutshell: “The night spirals out of control as the fighting escalates and the violent aftermath leaves the party in disarray.”