APRIL 2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:
* Bold denotes programming change
This is a female-leaning network, but plenty of men show up, too. As much as any 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. With the possible exception of the off-network drama LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT, 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. The schedule balances original series with Hollywood movies and off-network drama. Hourlong programs dominate.
APRIL 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison /March 2011 vs. March 2010 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
Bravo posted its sixth consecutive month of year-over-year growth with the best April in Network history. As long as the REAL HOUSEWIVES... franchise continues at its furious pace, Bravo should continue to see these success stories. Two things to note are that Bravo has actively built a large development slate and continue to launch new Series that will one day replace REAL HOUSEWIVES at the top of their ratings success and that the Male 18-49 demo showed double digit declines this month (could increased competition from sports: NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs and MLB).
On that Male demo, every night but one showed double-digit declines. Wednesdays in fact showed 100% growth over last year, TOP CHEF definitely attracted the male appetite.
Thursday's run of REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NYC showed declines from last year. It's not a signal to panic but worth paying attention to in the upcoming months as HOUSEWIVES continues to compete against itself from the previous year.
BETHENNY EVER AFTER delivered the goods on Mondays at 10, leading the night all month-long. BETHENNY delivered the biggest night of growth this month with large double-digit increases over last year.
Newcomer PREGNANT IN HEELS had a slow start after WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE but picked up in the next two airings building from its lead-in. Unfortunately, the night was down in all demos from last year.
Sundays continue to profit from the expansion of original programming, posting very nice double-digit gains from last year, thanks to the REAL HOUSEWIVES OF OC.
CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:
Bravo is as good as any network at banging on all cylinders. Watching this network, you get the a real sense of place, of Bravo being a destination for a viewer who thinks of herself as saavy and hip. But Bravo might be this year's TLC - where last year TLC's schedule was thrown into disarray through both the wild success (and overuse) JON & KATE PLUS 8, Bravo is presently drawing very heavily form the HOUSEWIVES OF franchise. Orange County, Atlanta, New Jersey now... Washington, DC on the way. When you think about Bravo, think about what will draw the same kind of viewer who tunes in for HOUSEWIVES OF. It's going to be in the schedule for the foreseeable future, so they'll need programs to compliment it. And, think about the next new franchise for them, because this one's in an extremely heavy rotation. It may last, or it may reach critical mass and slide this year. No way to know, but help the good folks at Bravo prepare, either way.