MARCH 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.
MARCH 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison /March 2011 vs. March 2010 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
The record-breaking string for Bravo continues with March completing the best quarter in network history. This makes four straight quarters of year-over-year growth for Bravo-built on the Strength of the REAL HOUSEWIVES and TOP CHEF franchises.
Thursday and Friday are the only weak links in Bravo's stellar line-up, Thursdays were a mix of programs while Fridays were movies. Thursdays had previously been a steady diet of REAL HOUSEWIVES OF... which explains the large losses from last year. Friday's movie lineup did slightly better but still delivered double-digit losses against last year.
TOP CHEF'S revamped format delivered big on Wednesday nights, especially with Men 18-49 which delivered huge increases (triple digit) over last year. The new format apparently agrees with Bravo's core audience. BETHENNY EVER AFTER served as a nice appetizer to the new TOP CHEF format dish.
Sunday nights have been a big opportunity that Bravo has embraced as the network expanded it's original programming nights. Sundays are way up over last year, REAL HOUSEWIVES OF OC really delivered droves of viewers, especially W18-49.
MILLION DOLLAR LISTING was sandwiched by two different REAL HOUSEWIVES (OC and MIAMI) helped deliver modest growth on Tuesday nights.
Bravo has successfully mined the HOUSEWIVES franchise while developing several other key franchises that have helped round out the lineup and helped maintain the record-setting pace for Bravo.
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.