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.
AUGUST 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / August 2012 vs. August 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
Though it may not have been the network’s finest hour (both monthly and yearly numbers were down this August), TLC was thrilled with the overwhelming response to surprise hit HERE COMES HONEY BOO BOO.
The new reality show, a spinoff of TODDLERS & TIARAS, maintains the original’s penchant for popularity and controversy as it spotlights Honey Boo Boo and her family. Despite mixed reviews, viewers are apparently attracted to the off-kilter brood: TLC’s top five telecasts of the month belonged to HONEY.
Young women 18-49 were the most smitten with the show, although women in the 25 – 54 range made a strong showing as well. These newly indoctrinated devotees helped primetime Wednesday (which featured the show) blow every other night out of the water. And the show is only growing.
Though HONEY had an impressive debut, the show’s final episode August was leaps and bounds above the premiere among women in both key demographics. This continued growth is a breath of fresh air for a network with too few shows that truly escape mediocrity.
And as the HONEY bandwagon quickly becomes overcrowded, it seems fans are acquainting themselves with the original TODDLERS fixation. The show was up a good 25% from last month among women (in both the 18 – 49 and 25 – 54 ranges).
Still, its clear who’s playing second fiddle to whom: two HONEY reruns beat out all but one of TODDLERS’ premiere episodes for the month.
Wedding dress themed programming also gave a strong showing in August. In addition to the perennially popular SAY YES TO THE DRESS, newcomer I FOUND THE GOWN enjoyed a solid August. The show’s doubleheader premiere fared well, performing on par with a DRESS special that also aired that month.
However, the month wasn’t stellar for all of the network’s programs. After a strong performance in July, RANDY TO THE RESCUE stumbled, falling 38% among women 18 – 49. HOARDING, STRANGE SEX, FOUR HOUSES, and CAKE BOSS also took similarly dramatic tumbles.
In addition to these significant drops, TLC also stomached two disappointing series premieres for HIGH SCHOOL MOMS and UNITED BATES OF AMERICA.