MARCH 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.
MARCH 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / March 2010 vs. March 2009 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
Bravo's schedule is overloaded on the REAL HOUSEWIVES franchise but has been able to maintain year-to-year growth in spite of declines in the male audience (significant declines on 4 of 7 nights). Apparently, the male audience will tune-in on Thursday nights for the REAL HOUSEWIVES premieres but won't watch repeats on the other nights.
Off-net offerings HOUSE and LAW AND ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT continue to be solid offerings on weekend nights (although they tend to bring in an older audience than the network target). KELL ON EARTH has been on par with the Monday prime averages but Monday is the lowest rated night of the week for Bravo. MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER has performed well in it's premiere slot but the repeat lead-ins are way down causing Tuesdays to be down from last year.
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 slid this year. No way to know, but help the good folks at Bravo prepare, either way.