TLC focuses on character and story driven reality programming with occasional topical specials like the recent EXTREME COUPONING and WILLIAM & KATE: A ROYAL LOVE STORY. The schedule tends toward stacking by theme or editorial sensibility, rather than by title alone. They do not strip. Weekends carry mostly one-off hours, off-network news-magazine reversions and, most recently a few specials.
MAY 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / May 2012 vs. May 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
TLC experienced a generally neutral May, with minor ups and downs for various demos. Women 18-49 were down 8% in both the monthly and yearly ratings. Meanwhile, women in the 25-54 demo stayed flat from last month and increased 9% from a year ago.
LONG ISLAND MEDIUM, which featured two new episodes in May, was the highest rated program of the month by household. The program, which featured premiere episodes on Sunday nights, found the most traction among women aged 18-49. Sundays were the most viewed night of the week and they were also drastically improved compared to both a month and a year ago.
Compared to last month, Sundays were up 24% and 25% among women 18-49 and 25-54 respectively. Meanwhile, on a yearly basis, Sundays were up 24% and 33% among women aged 18-49 and 25-54 respectively. While LONG ISLAND MEDIUM deserves some of the credit for Sunday’s success, SISTER WIVES also served as a major draw.
SISTER WIVES’ third season premiere was the most watched telecast among women in both main demos. Overall, SISTER WIVES was the third most watched program for the month behind MEDIUM and a SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE special. Despite the strength of the third season premiere, each successive week steadily declined in the ratings.
In addition to WIVES, MY BIG FAT AMERICAN GYPSY WEDDING also had a spot on primetime Sundays. After an impressive series debut, the series (which takes its format from the British MY BIG FAT GYPSY WEDDING) fell a disconcerting 46% in May. Despite the show’s post-premiere drop, all four of WEDDINGS’ premiere episodes cracked the top 20 (although each consecutive episode fell in the ratings).
Tabloid staple TODDLERS & TIARAS was up from last month as it closed out its fifth season. Thanks to the show’s increased viewership, Wednesdays were up 8% among women 18-49.
SAY YES TO THE DRESS: BRIDESMAIDS had the second most telecasts in May and its ratings among women were up from last month. Despite having a solid May, the show was down compared to first season numbers.
Acquired programs UNDERCOVER BOSS and UNDERCOVER BOSS: ABROAD both underperformed for TLC. In fact, only one program did worse than ABROAD for TLC: LITTLE COUPLE.
LITTLE COUPLE, which closed out its fifth season in May, had trouble finding an audience in any demo.