The schedule is built around a handful of key series at 9pm or 10pm, complemented by repeats of the same on the same night. Mondays in December was LAYOVER and HOTEL IMPOSSIBLE night. Tuesdays in December was a night of originals - BIZARRE FOODS AMERICA, DANGEROUS GROUNDS, and freshman series NFL ROAD TESTED. More originals on Wednesday with BAGGAGE BATTLES,TOY HUNTER, and FAST FOODS GONE GLOBAL. Thursdays in December featured stacked episodes of MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM. Fridays and Saturdays were paranormal-themed, with a lineup of GHOST ADVENTURES and DEAD FILES, while Sundays closed out the week with a variety of programming.
DECEMBER 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live + SD Primetime Ratings Comparison / December 2012 vs December 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
Trave Channel had somewhat of a rough 2012, seeing ratings fluctuations throughout the year. New series in 2012 had a distinctly Travel Channel-vibe, heading back to the roots of what made the network successful - strong characters, food, American locations. And despite some risks that didn't pay off, there was a lot that did.
December saw a 4% increase in year to year HH numbers with most nights of the week seeing year to year increases overall and in younger demographics. December saw the premiere of two new series, NFL ROAD TESTED, and FAST FOODS GONE GLOBAL, both of which struggled alongside returning Travel favorites, especially GHOST ADVENTURES, DEAD FILES, and MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM, which continue to score top numbers for the network.
Monday nights in December featured LAYOVER, followed by HOTEL IMPOSSIBLE. The night was down sharply in overall viewers compared to December 2011. While LAYOVER hovered around average, HOTEL IMPOSSIBLE couldn't hold the lead in numbers.
Tuesdays in December saw a somewhat steep decline from last year - overall viewers were down 41% compared to December 2011. BIZARRE FOODS AMERICA wasn't able to hit average, nor was DANGEROUS GROUNDS and freshman series NFL ROAD TESTED which premiered on 12/4. Hopefully as the new series catch on with viewers, this trend will change in 2013.
Travel Channel originals anchor the on Wednesday night. This month, the lineup featured BAGGAGE BATTLES and TOY HUNTER. The night was down 19% in overall viewers from last year. New episodes of BAGGAGE BATTLES scored well. FAST FOODS GONE GLOBAL, which premiered on 12/19, didn't hit average.
Thursdays were up 58% compared to December 2011 as stacked episodes of MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM (which transferred from Tuesdays to Thursdays earlier in 2012, replacing a lineup of BIZARRE FOODS, NO RESERVATIONS, and MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM.) Though not every airing hit average, many did, and may surpassed it. The series overall is up 23% compared its performance in December 2011.
Friday's and Saturday's strong year-to-year growth was fueled by the paranormal-themed GHOST ADVENTURES and DEAD FILES. GHOST ADVENTURES and DEAD FILES both score above average.
Sundays in December saw a 41% increase in viewers compared to last year, with STURGIS leading the ratings charge.
2013 will be an interesting year for Travel as they evaluate the risks and rewards of 2012 and apply them to the new programming season. The high-profile loss of Anthony Bourdain leaves Travel with a hole to fill, and we expect several new host-driven series in the new year to take his place.