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. Tuesdays is museum and travel night, with MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM and HIDDEN CITY, and in January, OFF LIMITS. Wednesday is food night, with MAN VS FOOD and AMAZING EATS and Fridays and Saturdays is supernatural night, with GHOST ADVENTURES and DEAD FILES. Thematic stacks and diverse topics, premieres and repeats, are all mixed throughout the one up portion of the schedule.
JANUARY 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / January 2012 vs January 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
January started the year off a little rough for Travel Channel, losing some of the momentum gained at the end of 2011. Overall, viewers were down 17%, and across all key demos. Almost all of the returning series are starting to show signs of wear. There are several new programs that Travel has announced that will hit in 2012, and we look to the coming months to see the network rebound.
The shining star of the Travel schedule remains Monday nights, which is all about Anthony. Anthony Bourdain's series anchor the schedule. Newcomer LAYOVER airs from 8-10, followed by NO RESERVATIONS. Numbers for new episodes are above average and helped Monday night to be the second strongest of the week. Monday night is up 22% compared to last year, and up in the key demos as well.
Tuesday night came in at just above average, with good performances from MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM, HIDDEN CITY, and OFF LIMITS. Still, the night is down compared to both last month and last year. HIDDEN CITY, which struggled to gain traction a month ago has improved with time and numbers were stronger in January than in December, up 27%.
Wednesday night remains food night on Travel. While the night hits just below average, it skews younger than any other night of the week with staples MAN VS. FOOD and AMAZING EATS, among others. Though the night was down compared to last month and last year, there was a modest bump in female demos compared to December. Still, MAN VS. FOOD is down 36% compared to a year ago.
More Anthony Bourdain on Thursday, paired with BIZARRE FOODS, help push Thursday nights into above-average territory. Like with MAN VS. FOOD, BIZARRE FOODS is showing signs of wear and tear as well. The show is down 21% compared to last year (but up from December 2011.)
Fridays and Saturdays are both paranormal-themed, which resonates quite well with the Travel Channel audience (numbers are better on Friday night than on Saturday.)
Sundays in January featured a variety of programs and specials. As always, EXTREME RVs tends to pull in an above-average number whenever it airs.
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.