Bravo Analysis - July 2011



* 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 HOUSE, 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.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison July 2011 vs. July 2010  (% Change)




Monday 8-11pm




Tuesday 8-11pm




Wednesday 8-11pm




Thursday 8-11pm




Friday 8-11pm




Saturday 8-11pm




Sunday 8-11pm




MTWTFSS 8-11pm




Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

JULY 2011:  June was Bravo's first down month in a long time with a 6% drop in core women viewers vs. 2010. But the news was even worse in July, as women 18-49 were off by 17% vs. year ago numbers, and the less-important male viewers were down by about one-fourth. The only night of the week to grow vs. last year was Sunday, which is small comfort when you consider that the lowest rated program, LAW & ORDER: CI was running last year while top-rated REAL HOUSEWIVES is running this year. Each of Bravo's returning programs took double digit declines vs. last month, with the exceptions of movies and the already underperforming ROCCO'S DINNER PARTY. Month over month, July took double digit hits on every night of the week with the lone exception of Saturdays, where movies, not Bravo-signature programming, saved the day.

Right now, the core of the line-up is THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK CITY and THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY. They dominated the schedule in July with 46 hours of primetime and three full nights (Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays) between them. Both programs took hard hits from the previous month, with NYC dropping 24% and NJ dropping 19% of women 18-49. NJ dropped 14% from July 2010's average performance. The network stakes a lot on the HOUSEWIVES franchise, but with fading numbers and the recent scandals, BRAVO needs to find the next new thing.

Tuesday's theme was real estate and design, with MILLION DOLLAR DECORATORS and FLIPPING OUT dominating the night. DECORATORS lost 30% of its women 18-49 audience from last month, but FLIPPING OUT was a moderate success. A couple of its episodes made the top performing telecast rankers, and its women 18-49 program average was equal to the primetime average.

The focus of Wednesday night is usually food, with TOP CHEF or a TOP CHEF spin-off setting the pace. But not this month. The night was a mix of HOUSEWIVES and FLIPPING OUT encores, leading into the new and not so successful ROCCO's DINNER PARTY. ROCCO lost audience from its encore lead-ins each week. TOP CHEF JUST DESSERTS returns at the end of August, and TOP CHEF is moving to Texas and returning in the fall.


Bravo is as good as any network at banging on all cylinders. Watching this network, you get a real sense of place, of Bravo being a destination for a viewer who thinks of herself as savvy 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) of JON & KATE PLUS 8, Bravo is presently drawing very heavily on the HOUSEWIVES OF franchise. Orange County, Atlanta, New Jersey, New York and Washington, DC. 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.