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. 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. Hourlong programs dominate for now, but look for half hour programs in the future.
NOVEMBER 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison November 2011 vs. November 2010 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
NOVEMBER 2011: With THE REAL HOUSEWIVES of both BEVERLY HILLS and ATLANTA kicking into full throttle this month, along with vast improvements for MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER and the return of TOP CHEF to the line-up, Bravo was running on all cylinders this month, and core women audiences rose by 20% vs. October. While all this action was enough to drive double-digit primetime increases over last month, it barely helped ratings keep pace with last year. Women 18-49 ratings fell 4% vs. November 2010 while women 25-54 climbed 2%. Sometimes it takes a lot of work just to stay in place, particularly when much of cable has decided to stop hiding during broadcast sweeps.
Sunday night is the highlight of Bravo’s week, as the top rated series lands in this premium spot. THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA took residence, replacing October’s NEW JERSEY and bumping up ratings by an impressive 62% over last month. According to Bravo PR, it is pacing to be the highest rated season of the franchise with more than 3.5 million total viewers and 2.4 million adults 18-49.
Monday are home to the HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS. The ladies are having a strong season (up 14% vs. last year and 16% vs. last month), although they are outclassed in the ratings by ATLANTA.
On Tuesdays MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER is faring well with new episodes, but MAD FASHION and FASHION HUNTERS are performing below par.
Wednesday nights brought TOP CHEF: TEXAS, along with a lot of promos featuring Padma dressed as a provocative cowgirl. Perhaps it was the promos or perhaps it was the popularity of Texas based programming this year, but ratings surged for the night, particularly among men. Men 18-49 jumped 100% vs. October and 60% vs. last year. (I’m going with the promos).
Thursdays and Fridays were filled with encore episodes of MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER and REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA, bringing sub-par ratings to the end of the work week.
Saturday night is still mostly movies, although blocks of HOUSEWIVES appear occasionally, helping to give the ratings a much-needed boost.