VH1 GrowthStands Out inViacom’s Quarter

VH1 rode its character-driven,
relationship-themed reality shows to a double-digit
ratings increase during the recently ended first quarter,
according to network officials.

A lineup of
original shows
such as Mob
, T.I. &
Tiny: The Family
, Basketball

and Love
& Hip Hop

helped the
network post
a 30% increase
in primetime
viewer s to
645,000 for the
period of Dec.
26 to March
25, officials

VH1’s ratings uplift
comes as fellow
networks Nick
at Nite, BET,
Spike and
MTV are all
poised to post
primetime ratings
for the quarter,
which ended
Sunday (March 25), according to Nielsen.

In March VH1 also posted an increase in its primetime
adult 18-49 audience, marking the 10th consecutive
month of year-to-year growth in the demo.

“We’ve heard from our viewers, who said they
wanted to see less of the manufactured [reality shows]
and more authentic, organic relationships with the
people on your shows,” VH1 president Tom Calderone
said. “So whether its Basketball Wives or Mob Wives
or Couples Therapy, you have shows that have friendships
and relationships that are not only organic to
the storyline but also authentic.”

VH1 will continue to mine the relationship genre
going forward. It has greenlit a second season of hit
series T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle after the show
about rapper T.I., his wife Tameka “Tiny” Cottle and
their family averaged 3.5 million viewers for premiere
and encore performances during its freshman season,
officials said.

Together with the second seasons of reality series
Love & Hip Hop and Basketball Wives, the series
helped VH1, in 2012 to date, rank as Monday’s top
primetime cable network among women 18-49.

Calderone said the network will continue
to search for relationship-themed reality programming
appealing to women 18-49 and isn’t
concerned about other networks potentially oversaturating
the genre.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.