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 have recently transitioned from mostly one-off hours to primarily regular programming.
MARCH 2013 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / March 2013 vs. March 2012 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
TLC ratings among women 18 – 49 and 25 – 54 were unchanged from February but saw and increase from last year. Compared to March 2012, the network was up 8% and 9% among women 18 – 49 and 25 – 54 respectively.
The return of SAY YES TO THE DRESS: ATLANTA was a major benefit for the network. The popular spinoff kicked off its fifth season, receiving a strong viewer response. ATLANTA had the two most watched telecasts of the month among women 18 – 49 and five of its March episodes placed within the network’s top ten telecasts in the same demo.
The show was also up 26% among women 18 – 49 and 18% with women 25 – 54 compared to last year (which featured new season three episodes). Fridays, which aired ATLANTA, were easily TLC’s most watched night of the week. Primetime Fridays were also up from both a monthly and yearly standpoint.
Compared to February, the night was up 18% among women 18 – 49. Both months featured FOUR WEDDINGS and SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING NEW but in February ATLANTA replaced the original SAY YES TO THE DRESS.
BORROWED, which premiered in February, gained significant traction among women 18 – 49. From month-to-month, viewership within the demo jumped 16%. Whereas BORROWED had only one top ten telecast in February, the show had four in March. Its most popular episode beat out multiple brand new episodes of the well-established ATLANTA – an impressive feat for a newcomer.
FOUR WEDDINGS – the last of TLC’s popular Friday night slate – fared the worst of the three. The program was up 5% among women 18 – 49 but fell 6% with the 25 – 54 demo. Still, the show was up a remarkable 43% among women 18 – 49 compared to last year.
GYPSY SISTERS, which debuted in February, exhibited no change among 18 – 49 women but rose 8% among women 25 – 54. Though not yet on the same level as ATLANTA or BORROWED, SISTERS has proven to be a very welcome addition to the TLC family of programs. Thanks to the program’s growing audience, Sundays were TLC’s second most watched night of the week.
SISTERS (a spinoff) performed better than the original MY BIG FAT AMERICAN GYPSY WEDDING. The SISTERS finale drew the show’s largest ratings of the season and outshone all of AMERICAN’s March output.
SISTERS shared its Sunday schedule with brand new show WELCOME TO MYRTLE MANOR. The reality series, which examines a trailer park in Myrtle Beach, SC, drew a decent audience among women 18 – 49.
TLC notably aired a three-part special featuring the Duggars’ (of 19 KIDS AND COUNTING) travels through Asia. Ratings for the special were strongest among women 25 – 54. COUNTING resumed standard episodes on April 2nd.
In early March it was announced that the tenth season of WHAT NOT TO WEAR will be the series’ last. After 10 years on the air, the program found itself on a different TLC than the one it began its run with. TLC programming has grown more bombastic in its tone and subject matter – shows like WEAR are growing more and more out of place on the network.