HGTV Analysis - June 2011

Publish date:


* Bold denotes programming change


HGTV runs all original programming, almost all in half-hour formats. The half-hour programs are usually scheduled back to back, creating one-hour blocks with a natural break in between. The programming is safe and lulling, as is the schedule, which subtly leads viewers through the night and the week with little disruption.

Mondays have become an HGTV showcase night, with new signature programming, while on Fridays, HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL runs all the way from 8 to 11.

Tuesday through Friday features the "First Time Homeowners" block rfrom 8 to 9PM, with MY FIRST PLACE AND PROPERTY VIRGINS. The 9 to 10 slot mixes it up with PROPERTY VIRGINS on Tuesdays, INCOME PROPERTY and PROPERTY BROTHERS on Wednesdays and SELLING NEW YORK on Thursdays. The 10 to 11 slot remains dedicated to HOUSE HUNTERS or HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL all week, with occasional exceptions for specials.

Saturday is home-design focused, and Sunday features specials and Mike Holmes' programming, thereby drawing more men to Sunday nights.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / June 2011 vs June 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

JUNE 2011:  HGTV kicked it up a notch this month, stepping into a new night of programming on Mondays. The network boosted core women 25-54 ratings by 10% vs. last month, and to the second highest level of the year. The bottom line ratings increase vs. year ago was held down by this year's July start of DESIGN STAR (vs. last year's June start), as reflected in the 30% drop on Sunday night ratings.

Mondays have always been one of the better-rated nights of the week for HGTV, and the network has decided to see how much further it can grow the night. This month kicked it off with MY YARD GOES DISNEY, followed by aspirational HOUSE HUNTERS ON VACATION, new signature series HGTV'D, and new episodes of top rated program HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL. The effort was successful, with core women 25-54 ratings improving by 14% vs. last month and 23% vs. last year. It looks like HGTV launched a new signature night.

However, HOUSE HUNTERS and HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL continue to rule as the heart of the schedule, reining at or near the top of the ratings charts. The International version actually gets more airtime these days, with its Friday night 8-11PM block giving it more total real estate than the original. Together the programs comprise just under half the primetime lineup. They each grew 12% vs. last month, Compared to last year HOUSE HUNTERS grew another 7% but HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL slipped again vs. last year, losing 15%.  With such a large presence, the two programs have a direct impact on the bottom line and on the rest of the line-up.

PROPERTY VIRGINS and MY FIRST PLACE both delivered women 25-54 ratings below the bottom-line average, despite improvements over last month. They comprise the "First Time Homebuyers" programming, and nearly 20% of the primetime line-up, but with the new Monday night line-up, they have lost a bit of real estate. Earlier in the year the network tried bumping them out of their 8-9 slot, but that was not successful. Looks like there is room for more tinkering with this important lead-in block.

INCOME PROPERTY and PROPERTY BROTHERS ran on Wednesdays this month. While INOCME PROPERTY lost audience from its lead-in (PROPERTY VIRGINS), PROPERTY BROTHERS drew the biggest audiences of the night, topping even HOUSE HUNTERS and HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL. The one-hour version did even better. The program was the leading force behind Wednesday night's 25%+ women 25-54 ratings increases vs. last month and last year.

Last year's breakout hit SELLING NEW YORK was back with new episodes on Thursdays at 9PM this June. The program average (including last season's encores) increased ratings 17% vs. last month and 14% vs. last year. However the star of the night was the HOUSE HUNTERS series, which helped pull up the night.

Design Time Saturday Night is holding at the bottom of the ratings heap. New programs continue to rotate in and out, with SARAH'S SUMMER HOUSE being replaced with HGTV'd encores, a COLOR SPLASH special here, an extra CURB APPEAL: THE BLOCK there, a couple of ANTONIOs sprinkled in, and even a Food Network special. But no matter the mix, the biggest ratings grabber is always HOUSE HUNTERS in the 10-11 block.

Sundays were home to DESIGN STAR last year, but this year it runs on Mondays starting in July. Which explains why Sunday dropped 30% from last year, even with a decent performance from HOLMES INSPECTION and HOLMES ON HOLMES. HOLMES is the only programming on the lineup to draw a male skew. The network average is about 70% female, 30% male.


HGTV has set its course, trying to move past the recession and on to renovation, redesign and re-creation. The network is literally creating a fantasy world for viewers with MY YARD GOES DISNEY and gives them hope of winning the HGTV lottery with HGTV'd.  Programs that focus on luxury, dream homes and over the top themes continue to pop the numbers. Viewers are coming to HGTV for a dose of escape, not a hard hit of reality.