The schedule is built around a handful of key series at 9pm or 10pm, complemented by repeats of the same on the same night. Monday is Anthony Bourdain night with LAYOVER and NO RESERVATIONS. Tuesday is museum and travel night, with MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM and HIDDEN CITY. Wednesday is MAN VS FOOD and FOOD PARDISES, and Friday is GHOST ADVENTURES. The remaining nights feature an occasional series such as WHEN VACATIONS ATTACK. Thematic stacks and diverse topics, premieres and repeats, are all mixed throughout the one up portion of the schedule.
DECEMBER 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / December 2011 vs December 2010 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
New programming arrivals and some scheduling shifts gave Travel Channel a slight boost to end the year in December 2011. The network was up 8% from November’s average, and nearly every night of the week saw positive growth from a month ago. Year-to-year numbers tell a somewhat different story: the network was down 16% overall and every night of the week, except Monday, saw a decline. Hopefully 2012 will be a fresh new start for the network as they continue to define and redefine their brand.
Paranormal continues to work for Travel Channel, as GHOST ADVENTURES episodes take the top 3 telecasts slots for the month of December. Airing on both Friday and Saturday nights, the show continues to deliver consistent, above-average numbers (despite an overall drop of 21% compared to last year.) Fridays are the strongest night of the week by a fairly wide margin for the network.
New Anthony Bourdain series LAYOVER brought in above-average numbers for Travel on Monday nights. Numbers are down 19% from last month, but the show still saw positive growth among key demos, so there is definitely some positive news for the new show.
Tuesday night’s staple MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM continues to score above-average numbers, but new series HIDDEN CITY fell steadily throughout the month.
Wednesday’s food-based lineup also scored above average with MAN VS. FOOD NATION taking top spot for the night. An airing of AMERICA: CAUGHT ON CAMERA on 12/14 at 10pm couldn’t hold the lead-in numbers.
More Bourdain/BIZARRE FOODS on Thursdays help bring in more above-average numbers, while Sundays are the weakest night of the week despite some nice numbers from RV 2011 and TRICKED OUT TRAILERS.
Travel Channel has cast a wide net in its programming choices. Successful shows run the gamut of audiences, and they have a wide spread of average ages throughout the week. Connections to “travel” in their programming has become looser and looser, so bring them whatever, and let them connect the dots. Bring them big talent, and don’t forget to have fun – it’s a big theme across all of their programming.