APRIL 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:
* Bold denotes programming change
This is a female-leaning network, but plenty of men show up, too. As much as any network in cable, Bravo has a "feel." It's bright, highly energetic and exudes an urban, upscale, sassy sensibility. The network has kept that vibe from becoming snobbish or off-putting with a winking admission that this is all just good, light, entertaining fun -- and everyone's invited. And... though that's mostly work accomplished in development, production and post efforts, it's also a scheduling strategy. With the possible exception of the off-network drama LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT, there's almost never a show on Bravo's air that feels out of place. So, even though they stack very heavily, a viewer watching at, say, 9pm every night, will see a different program each day, but still feel very much a Bravo viewer. The schedule balances original series with Hollywood movies and off-network drama. Hourlong programs dominate.
APRIL 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / April 2010 vs. April 2009 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
It's addition by subtraction for Bravo's top franchise REAL HOUSEWIVES... Monday nights switched over to movies which helped deliver a modest increase in Households over last year and a big increase in the W25-54 audience from a year ago (although men 25-54 were down double digits). Interesting note, the Friday movie slot is down double digits in HH, M25-54 and W25-54.
Tuesday nights showed the steepest declines in Households and W25-54 versus last April. MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER has been strong in its premieres but the current scheduling strategy had premieres on Tuesdays at 10pm, repeating the following week on Tuesdays at 9pm (delivering roughly 50% of the audience) and then again the following week at 8pm (delivering roughly 25% of the audience). The 8pm repeat is dragging down the whole night against last year's numbers.
REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NYC is fueling the overall growth of the network, especially on Thursday nights that showed large gains in Households, W25-54 and M25-54 (the only other nights of M25-54 growth are Saturday and Sunday). REAL HOUSEWIVES... has been a big hit for the Network and they have effectively increased its value by franchising the series to multiple locations.
Bravo's Weekend Prime has been dominated by HOUSE stacks on Saturday night and LAW& ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT stacks on Sunday nights. Both have shown strong year-to-year growth in Households and M25-54 while HOUSE also showed double digit increases in W25-54, LAW & ORDER showed double digit declines.
CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:
Bravo is as good as any network at banging on all cylinders. Watching this network, you get the a real sense of place, of Bravo being a destination for a viewer who thinks of herself as saavy and hip. But Bravo might be this year's TLC - where last year TLC's schedule was thrown into disarray through both the wild success (and overuse) JON & KATE PLUS 8, Bravo is presently drawing very heavily form the HOUSEWIVES OF franchise. Orange County, Atlanta, New Jersey now... Washington, DC on the way. When you think about Bravo, think about what will draw the same kind of viewer who tunes in for HOUSEWIVES OF. It's going to be in the schedule for the foreseeable future, so they'll need programs to compliment it. And, think about the next new franchise for them, because this one's in an extremely heavy rotation. It may last, or it may reach critical mass and slide this year. No way to know, but help the good folks at Bravo prepare, either way.