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Wedding List Grows for TLC

TLC next month will propose a second
night of wedding-themed programming as it looks to
marry viewer interest in the genre to its Thursday-night
primetime schedule.

Beginning July 19, the Discovery Communicationsowned
network — which has already designated Fridays
as “Bride Day” with several bride-themed shows, including
its popular Say Yes to the Dress franchise — will
expand the genre to Thursday nights, highlighted by a
two-hour block of reality series Four Weddings, in which
four brides attend and judge each other’s nuptials, network
officials said.

The network will also add the sophomore season of
Brides of Beverly Hills to Thursdays, as well as a new series,
I Found the Gown, which follows a bargain-oriented
designer bridal outlet in Boston, according to TLC
general manager Amy Winter.

“TLC has been so strong in the
wedding genre for several years,
based on fan favorites like Say Yes
to The Dress
and Four Weddings,
and we have such a robust development
pipeline of [genre-themed]
shows, that we felt like this was an
opportunity to expand into a new
night,” she said.

Wedding-themed programming
has proven to be a successful ratings
draw for women in all major
demographic categories, Winter

TLC’s Friday-night lineup, which
also includes such series as My Big
Fat Gypsy Wedding
and Say Yes to
the Dress
spinoff Randy to the Rescue,
has made TLC the top ad-supported
cable network in primetime
delivery among women 18 to 49
and 18 to 34, according to executives at Discovery Communications-
owned TLC.

The June 15, season-eight premiere of Say Yes to the
drew 1.3 million viewers, while the series premiere
of Randy to the Rescue — starring bridal expert Randy
Fenoli — averaged 1.1 million viewers. Both shows posted
viewer averages above the network’s May primetime
average of 886,000 viewers.

“It’s one of the most watchable things on television for
women — you’re sharing in what is somebody’s biggest
day of their life, and you get to go along with the ride and
experience the personal choices that they make and the
emotion that surrounds all of that,” Winter said.

It’s also a popular genre for other cable networks, most
notably AMC Networks-owned We TV, which features
its own lineup of wedding-themed shows, including the
popular series Bridezillas.

In 2009, AMC Networks launched stand-alone basic
cable network Wedding Central, but pulled the plug on
the service in 2011, during AMC Networks’ official spinoff
from former owner Cablevision Systems.

Winter said she’s not concerned about the competition
and believes that women will continue to go to TLC for
their wedding fix.

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.