Fall primetime insights: Younger-skewing female networks


Baseline Intelligence Media analysts Steve Sternberg and Shari Anne Brill have teamed for their latest report, Primetime TV Insight: The 2011 Fall TV Preview Edition. This is their take on the new fall shows. Yesterday we looked at 18-34-skewing Youth/Pop Culture networks. Today, it’s Younger-skewing female networks:

Every cable network in this category draws at least twice as many women as men. Bravo is slowly recovering from the loss of its strongest franchise, Project Runway, to Lifetime. The network’s primetime ratings gradually improved over the past two seasons. Top Chef continues to be the network’s highest rated franchise, followed by Real Housewives (of Atlanta, OC, NJ, Washington, NYC).

Shear Genius, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, Make Me a Supermodel, Flipping Out, Million Dollar Listing, and Tabitha’s Salon Takeover fill out the next tier of the network’s programming, and remain decent performers.

Songwriter and former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi will star along Jewel on Bravo’s upcoming songwriting competition series, Platinum Hit. The cable network announced that it will also be developing the new docu-series Kara (working title), centered on DioGuardi as she juggles her professional and
personal life. The series is produced by World of Wonder.

Over the past few seasons, E! has tried to position itself as a “global destination for all things entertainment.” E! is now the second highest rated network in the category among women 18-34. The network’s revamped weekday schedule consists of E! News (7pm), Sex and the City (8pm), The Soup (Friday at 10pm) and Fashion Police, starring Joan Rivers (Friday at 10:30pm). Chelsea Lately is back on the schedule and will air Monday-Friday at 11pm.

E! is looking to make an impact on Sunday nights and will launch new reality series throughout the year, starting with Khloe & Lamar. The show follows the marriage of Khloe Kardashian and her NBA husband, L.A. Laker Lamar Odom as they navigate life as newlyweds.

The Dance Scene, companion series to Khloe & Lamar, provides an inside view into the world of dancing, centering on world famous choreographer Laurieann Gibson and her two assistants.

Ice Loves Coco (June 2011) will air Sundays at 10:30pm. Ice T’s wife, Coco, is now ready to emerge from behind the scenes and step into the spotlight with a slew of her own projects. The June 12th premiere, which launched behind the season 6 opener of Keeping up with the Kardashians, delivered 1.3 million total
viewers. Since its premiere outing, the series has made some audience gains; the third installment notched nearly 2.0 million total viewers, representing a gain of 52% since its debut.

After Lately (Sundays, 11pm), which launched back in March, follows Chelsea Handler and her crew once the cameras on the Chelsea Lately set stop taping. Practical jokes and hilarity ensue, much to the amusement of viewers. The show which averaged about one million total viewers has been picked up for a second season.

TLC’s ratings among women have been growing for the past three seasons (men have been up and down). Unscripted series such as Jon & Kate Plus 8 and The Cake Boss helped bring the network to a new level of visibility. Other solid performers include Little People Big World, 19 (formerly 18) Kids and Counting, and Sister Wives.

With 13 series currently delivering over one million viewers, TLC’s primetime ranks among the top 10 ad-supported cable networks among women. Kate of Kate Plus 8 fame (or infamy) returned in Twist on Kate, which explores Gossalin stepping into the lives of other women and moms. Sarah Palin’s Alaska arrived on the scene and was short lived. Also expert chef John Besh helped struggling cooks to win back the palates of their loved ones in Inedible to Incredible. Other new series included several entries that are pretty much self-defining, such as American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior, Auctioneers and Police Women of Memphis. Between another season of The Cake Boss, and veteran What Not to Wear  (which will be back for a ninth season), TLC’s buzz factor will likely remain high. Separately, it appears that Kate Gosselin and her kids won’t be returning to TLC.

Here’s a look at new series and specials for the network:
9/11 Colliding Lives (Q2, 2011) is a two-hour special that tells the story of the fight for survival inside the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Baby’s First Day (Q2, 2012) Painful screams and tears of joy are a common occurrence at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Maternity Ward in Nashville, Tennessee.

Big Fat Gypsy Wedding UK (Q2, 2012) paints a visually arresting portrait of the secretive, extravagant, and surprising world of gypsies and travellers in Britain today by following their extraordinary rite-of-passage events.

Gypsyville (Q1 2012) captures the never before seen world of American Gypsies and travelers.

Extreme Christmas Trees (Q4 2011) TLC takes viewers from teeming cities to tiny towns on a tour of the most kookily decorated, tallest, widest, wackiest, gaudiest, and most surprising trees ever created.

Homecoming (Q3, 2011) presents a series of surprise military homecomings. Hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus, viewers will watch as soldiers return home to the delight of their loved ones.

I Kid With Brad Garrett (Q2, 2011) – Hosted by Brad Garrett, each 60-minute episode is a combination of field segments and viewer-generated content. Garrett will talk to kids about everything from politics, to religion, to current events.

Invasion of the Christmas Lights 3: Europe (Q4, 2011) A third dose of the wildest, craziest and most outrageous Christmas light decorations.

NY Ink (Q2, 2011) – Tattoo artist Ami James leaves the warm sunny shores of Miami for the cold hard concrete and steel of New York City. Ami has recruited an elite staff of artists whose personalities are as big as their tattoo skills.

Pawn Queens (Q2, 2011) – Located right outside Chicago, businesswomen Minda and Nikki run the only pawn shop that caters to women. Minda and Nikki struggle to debunk the stereotype that the pawn business is just a man’s world. With their two business partners, Greg and Tom, they pawn, purchase and sell anything in order to help their fledgling company stay afloat.

Off the Rez (Q2, 2011) – A Native American mother and daughter leave the Reservation to pursue the daughter’s dream of earning a scholarship and becoming a basketball star – the very dream her mother, now her hard-driving coach, was denied because of racism.

Randi to the Rescue (2012) has Say Yes to the Dress breakout star, Randy Fenoli, throwing the ultimate bridal truck show!

Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids -(Q3, 2011) Lori, of Bridals by Lori, will tell you that brides have an easier time finding a wedding gown than dressing the bridal party.

Say Yes To The Dress: Randy Knows Best (Q2, 2011) features Kleinfeld Bridal’s fashion director and star of TLC’s hit series Say Yes to The Dress – Randy Fenoli – as he dishes out his top 10 tips on a variety of bridal related categories.

Spouse vs. House (Q2, 2011) is a new, mischievous makeover and relationship show with a big twist. In each episode, a couple, who are desperate to transform their house into their dream home but can’t afford to do so, are given the cash they need to create their ideal dwelling. But there’s a catch: one half of the couple must move out, leaving their partner to make every design, decor, and DIY decision by themselves.

What Not to Wear returns for a 9th season in August. Each week, TLC resident fashion experts Stacy London and Clinton Kelly face an assortment of fashion-challenged participants, providing them with invaluable fashion advice and life-changing transformations.

Food Network
Viewers’ appetite for Food and food-related programming is insatiable, and the Scripps-owned Food Network is happy to oblige. While ratings for the channel have been steadily rising over the past few years, the network is now pretty much at parity with last year’s performance. Enduring franchises such The Iron Chef franchise of shows, The Next Food Network Star, Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, Ace of Cakes, Chopped, and The Best Thing I Ever Ate keep their loyal fans coming back for more.

Food has announced the return of 10 primetime series: a sophomore season of 24 Hour Restaurant Battle launched back in late April 2011. Season seven of Chopped, which challenges rising chefs, started in May. Season seven of Food Network Star, the network’s strongest series, returned in June. Chef Bobby Flay continues as host and judge and is joined by Food Network’s Glada de Laurentis. Cupcake Wars returned in June for season three.

The second season of Restaurant: Impossible premiered in July. Robert Irvine tries to save restaurants from failure in only two days with a $10,000 budget.

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives hosted by Guy Fieri will be back for season 13 this coming August.

Competition series The Great Food Truck Race hosted by Tyler Florence is back for season two, also in August. Season six of The Best Thing I Ever Ate will return in September. Season four of Alton Brown–hosted Next Iron Chef: Celebrity will return in October 2011. Worst Cooks in America, which transforms hopeless cooks into kitchen magicians, returns for a third season in February 2012.

New primetime series include:
Have Cake, Will Travel (April 26th, 2011) – Cake decorator Ashley Vicos and her team travel the U.S. as they create extraordinary cakes for special events.

Best In Smoke (May 2011) – Six top barbecue masters meet in New York City to compete for a $50,000 grand prize and the bragging rights to the title “Best In Smoke.”

Crave (June 2011) – Host Troy Johnson, San Diego food critic and journalist is obsessed with food.

Heat Seekers (July 2011) – Chefs Aaron Sanchez and Roger Mooking taste-test the spiciest foods in the country from Mexican and Korean to Indian and more.

Tough Cookies (July 2011) – Multi-generational family business Crazy Susan’s led by sisters Susan and Linda bake cookies while dealing with their chaotic family.

Chef Hunter (August 2011) – Chef recruiter Carrie McCully brings together four aspiring chefs to compete for an executive chef position at a prestigious restaurant.

Sugar High (August 2011) Cake “ace” Duff Goldman is back in a new series as he journeys across America to find the best desserts from Baked Alaska to hot fudge sundaes in Dallas. Series premieres August 8th at 1030pm.

Halloween Wars – (October 2011) Five teams of cake decorators, candy makers, and pumpkin carvers compete to prove they are the best in Halloween treats.

Supersizers – (January 2012) A gastronomic trip through our American past.

While still a lower-tier network in terms of ratings, and only in about two-thirds of the country, Oxygen’s viewer base has remained relatively stable from year to year. Its ‘‘Live Out Loud.” slogan has helped to establish a brand identity for the network as a programming destination for “young women looking for some mindless, guilty pleasure fun.”

The network’s most popular series, Tori & Dean, Bad Girls Club, Snapped, Dance Your Ass Off, and the new Love Games, certainly fit this mold. Oxygen’s movie franchise still accounts for a significant amount of its primetime schedule. Oxygen’s main strategy for 2011/2012 is stay true to its core audience with an expanding lineup of original and returning programs. The network is continuing to brand itself as “Generation O,”  capturing women in the most important and pivotal moments of their lives, with a programming slate that is divided into three categories: Girlfriends, Relationships, and Going for It.

Girlfriends: Bad Girls Club (July 2011), returns for season 7. The World According to Paris (June 2011) is an inside look into Paris Hilton’s life. Bachelorette Party: Las Vegas (4Q 2011) follows brides-to-be on a memorable all-access, VIP fantasy weekend with their “besties” at the Palms Casino. Maids of Drama is a look at the jockeying and jealousy among members of wedding parties in the months leading up to the big day. Also announced, is the acquisition of all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Relationship: Along with having the exclusive off-network rights to Glee, the network just premiered The Glee Project, a companion talent search series. The new reality show, which plays out over 10-episodes, finds and trains a group of talented performers who compete against one another to win a guest starring role on Glee. Unfortunately, the show, which debuted opposite The Tony Awards, Game 6 of The NBA Finals and the return of Kardashian sisters, barely registered with audiences as a mere 455,000 of them showed up. Why in the world Oxygen would premiere this show when it did, particularly with its lack of effective promotion, is a real head-scratcher. Despite the disastrous start, however, the critically acclaimed talent competition series has experienced impressive viewership gains in subsequent airings. The third installment, which aired on June 26th, posted 591,000 total viewers, representing a 30% increase over its debut. The July 10th episode delivered 745,000 total viewers, a 64% improvement versus its audience to its debut episode.

Going For It: Hair Battle Spectacular (July 2011), returns for a second season. All About Aubrey, America’s Next Top Model Obsessed; Best Ink (In Development) has 12 tattoo artists competing for cash and the ultimate prize of Best Ink.

Like Oxygen, WE is currently available in 67% of the U.S, although its ratings are still significantly lower. The network is not as “noisy” as Oxygen, which may actually be one of the reasons behind its lower ratings. Many probably still think the WE is short for The Wedding Network – its strongest series in the past have been Amazing Wedding Cakes, Bridezillas, and My Fair Wedding.

WE has been trying to be more advertiser-friendly than some of its competitors and has broadened its offering with a combination of acquired scripted series and original family-oriented docu-series programming, though their wedding themed shows remain a staple.

Returning series include: Mother Knows Best?, which features Joan Rivers moving in with her daughter Melissa Rivers, Melissa’s son, and new live-in boyfriend will be back for a second season. The sophomore season of Braxton Family Values, which stars singer/songwriter Toni Braxton and her four sisters, will return with 13 all-new, one-hour episodes in 2012.

Also returning for season two is The Cupcake Girls, which showcases best friends and business partners on their way to building a cupcake empire. Others include Staten Island Cakes, season two of Downsized and Fix My Family. WE also airs acquired series, including off network runs of Charmed, as well as Golden Girls and Frasier (both currently airing on Hallmark).

On the plus side the network whose slogan is “life as WE know it” has made some slight audience gains in the past year and has lowered its median age by two years to 46. The network also greenlit three new original series for 2011/2012: Amsale Girls, which premiered in June, profiles the personalities of the consultants and brides at the popular NYC bridal salon, Amsale.

Texas Multi Mamas takes a look at the inner workings of modern families with multiple children. The Willis Clan is about a family set on grooming their 12 children into extraordinary savants. WE will also premiere the U.S. version of Family Restaurant, about a family-run Chinese restaurant and the upheavals planned by the kids to bring their parents into a new era.

The Style Network
The Style Network is the lowest rated network in the female younger-skewing category. The network currently programs a variety of fashion, design, interior decorating and lifestyle-themed content.

There are two new series joining the lineup this year, some established series will be tweaked and there are several new ones on the drawing board.

Big Rich Texas takes viewers on the inside of the elite Dallas social scene following five rich and competitive mothers and their spoiled daughters.

Glam Fairy is a spin-off of the network’s Jerseylicious series, this makeover format follows energetic makeup artist, Alexa Prisco.

How Do I Look? The Search for the Worst Dressed in America is a twist on the original. Host Jeannie Mai hits the road traveling the country to find the worst fashion catastrophes. Once the winner is revealed, the person travels to Hollywood for the ultimate makeover. The new multi-part event will air this September.

Here is a look at series in development:
Birth Moms is set inside a residential-style adoption center in Orem, Utah where expectant mothers complete their pregnancies before giving up their babies for adoption.

The Amandas features Amanda LeBlanc who helms this home makeover show in which she and her team of other “Amandas”  organize people’s homes.

Single With 7 centers on L.A. radio DJ Yesi Ortiz, who is also “mom” to her seven nieces and nephews. Yesi has taken on the responsibility of raising her sister’s kids who were put into foster care when her sister was sent to prison.

Lifestyle Weekly Series is a weekly half-hour series co-hosted by Adrianne Curry, Vivica A. Fox, Nick Verreos and Ali Fedotowsky who will take on timely style topics aiming at the network’s viewers.

Are You Dressed? Part game show, part fashion show, this series ambushes shoppers after entering their dressing rooms with on-the-spot trivia questions where they can win cash and prizes.

Miss Fit is a series set inside Boston’s Miss Fit Club, a women’s only fitness club managed by Katie Boyd, a former beauty queen.

The Riveras is a docu-series set in Queens, NY featuring The Riveras, a Puerto Rican family who owns two neighborhood dance studios.

The Look for Less is a revival of Style Network’s franchise series. The show will get its own makeover utilizing social media and YouTube.

Makeover Madness is hosted by Cat Deely and features a team of experts in hair, beauty and fashion who try to break world records with the most makeovers in one sitting.

Maureen Hancock’s Ghost Town is about a working New England mom who talks to the dead and has a mission of transforming people’s lives by helping clients overcome a variety of issues.

Next up: Older Skewing Female Networks