Skip to main content

History Channel Analysis


Programming blocks and consistent scheduling seem to be History’s mantra.  Not too wide a programming mix, the primetime schedule is home to the solid favorites, giving viewers several opportunities to find their programs and develop a pattern of appointment viewing.  On weekends, a mix of programming and stacked mini-marathons of top shows drive the lineup.


Live + SD Primetime Ratings Comparison / May 2012 vs. May 2011 (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

After somewhat of a rough April, May was an interesting month for History.  Nights varied fairly widely in ratings and while some nights saw fairly significant losses, others had tremendous year-to-year increases.  As with last month, many of History's returning favorites including AMERICAN RESTORATION, AMERICAN PICKERS, PAWN STARS, and SWAMP PEOPLE took year-to-year losses, but TOP SHOT, a show that had shown some signs of struggling, was up 69% compared to last year for its finale.

Monday nights in May continued the traditional PAWN STARS/AMERICAN PICKERS lineup for History.  Numbers were huge - and climbed significantly throughout the month.  Still, compared to this time last year, the night was down, but History still has to be happy with a lineup of programming that nearly triples average and more than dominates other network competition.

The Tuesday night lineup in May feature more PAWN STARS, leading into SWAMP PEOPLE and newcomer UNITED STATS OF AMERICA. The night saw very slight year-to-year increases, but neither SWAMP PEOPLE nor UNITED STATS could hold PAWN's lead-in numbers.  Numbers for UNITED STATS declined throughout the month.

AMERICAN PICKERS, AMERICAN RESTORATION, and PAWN STARS continue to anchor History's Wednesday night lineup.  The night saw some fairly significant growth among overall viewers as well as the key younger demographics.  CAJUN PAWN STARS hit the schedule again on 5/23, but the spin-off series isn't able to hit average, let alone the original PAWN STARS' numbers.

Thursday nights' lineup is anchored by SWAMP PEOPLE, which leads into AX MEN in the 10pm slot.  Up moderately in overall viewers form last year, SWAMP PEOPLE continues to bring in numbers that are double average - a clear winner despite the moderate year-to-year fall off.

Fridays in May featured a mix of programming in May, with solid numbers, but nothing really delivering average or above.  Saturdays had a whopping increase in year-to-year numbers, thanks entirely to marathons of PAWN STARS that aired throughout the month.  Sundays were anchored by AX MEN, followed by various lead-outs.  AX MEN delivered above-average numbers for the network and the night was up 11% compared to last year.