HGTV prides itself on its upscale female audience, but a portion of the 800 new hours that the network will premiere in 2012 are series aimed at reaching new groups of viewers.
Though HGTV’s viewership is 65% female, the Scripps-owned network has been expanding its male appeal with the weekly programming block “The Guys of Wednesday Night,” which features male-hosted series Kitchen Cousins, Property Brothers and Income Property. In late 2012 or early 2013, the network will add Scoring the Deal, which follows the “Jerry Maguire of real estate,” Jason Abrams, as he serves a client list of professional athletes as they relocate after a trade or search for a second home in the off-season.
Network executives saw Scoring the Deal, which will also feature the wives or girlfriends of players, as having appeal across genders.
“It’s sort of got the best of both worlds,” says Freddy James, HGTV senior VP, programming.
HGTV is also building out its appeal to advertiser-coveted young moms by casting more series that focus on parents and families. In addition to the returning Home by Novogratz and House Hunters on Vacation, the net will debut Mom Caves (a spinoff of the DIY Network series Man Caves) on Mother’s Day, May 12. Hosted by Howard Stern’s wife, Beth, the series helps moms carve out a space of their own in their houses.
The network is also working on the pilot Real Estate Moms, about three mothers from the wealthy North Shore area of Chicago who go to work for the same real estate firm as they juggle their family lives; HGTV will also be bringing back the family-friendly My Yard Goes Disney for another season this summer, and the new one-hour special, My House Goes Disney.
“That’s who [our] advertisers’ consumer is,” says Donna Stephens, HGTV senior VP, ad sales. “It’s very important to us to be able to speak directly to them in our programming.”
HGTV will also premiere plenty of new programming for its core audience, launching a new edition of its popular Selling New York and Selling LA franchise with Selling London, which will premiere in advance of the Olympic Games in London this summer as an eight-episode limited series.
Other new series include Million Dollar Rooms, featuring host Carter Oosterhouse touring spaces where homeowners have spent $1 million on a single room. Thirteen half-hour episodes will premiere in the second quarter. Also in the second quarter comes Celebrities at Home, hosted by Entertainment Tonight’s Nancy O’Dell, who tours houses of the famous with an eye for how they design their spaces.
And HGTV creates Tuesday-night appointment viewing for Design Star fans, centering around the new season of the competition series, which returns May 29. First, new spinoff The White Room Challenge, based on a popular Design Star challenge, premieres in the time slot April 24. Then Design Star takes over, and after the finale, the series Design Star: All-Stars brings back fan-favorite contestants who did not win for a four-episode run. After that, The White Room Challenge will return.
“When you create content that has some thread, you can get people to come back every week for that hour,” says Jon Steinlauf, executive VP, ad sales, Scripps Networks Interactive.
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