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TLC Analysis


TLC does occasional topical specials like the recent  EXTREME COUPONING and WILLIAM & KATE: A ROYAL LOVE STORY.  The schedule tends toward stacking by theme or editorial sensibility, rather than by title alone. They do not strip. Weekends carry mostly one-off hours, off-network news-magazine reversions and most recently, a few specials.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / December 2011 vs. December 2010 (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

TLC remains nothing if not consistent.  Once again the network was down in both the monthly and yearly ratings while still managing fair numbers across the board.  Not a single show did remarkably well or poorly.  Unbelievably, the viewership among women aged 18-49 for the most watched TLC program and the twentieth most watched program were exactly the same.  This factoid is perhaps the perfect encapsulation of TLC’s ratings blessing and curse.

Throughout December, TLC ran a number of one-off specials.  The most successful (by a slim margin) was LITTLE PEOPLE BIG WORLD: HOLIDAY SURPRISES.  The special marks the second original episode since the series formally concluded in 2010.  The one-off event was most successful among women aged 25-54.

THE 10 WEDDINGS OF 2011 was even more popular with women of the 25-54 demo.  Thanks to a number of notable nuptials, the one-off retrospective proved very successful for the network.

As far as series are concerned, SAY YES TO THE DRESS: BIG BLISS scored the highest with viewers.  The female demo (18-49) slightly edged out 25-54 crowd in terms of viewers.  Collectively, DRESS viewers of both demos helped make Fridays TLC’s most watched night of the week.

Wedding themes proved particularly profitable for the network.  BRIDES OF BEVERLY HILLS and SAY YES TO THE DRESS (the original) were the next two most popular series for the network.

The schedule was also interspersed with a number of CAKE BOSS specials in conjunction with the actual CAKE series itself.  All of these CAKE programs hovered somewhere near the middle of the ratings lineup.

TODDLERS & TIARAS closed out its fourth season to moderate ratings.  The show found itself sandwiched between WHAT NOT WEAR and DC CUPCAKES.  Considering the incredible external controversy and media hoopla the series drums up, this position seems disappointing.

The rest of the schedule was largely comprised of holiday specials such as INVASION OF THE CHRISTMAS, EXTREME CHRISTMAS TREES, and MORE CRAZY CHRISTMAS LIGHTS – all of which had an underwhelming response.

The worst show – which was, after all – not a far cry from the best show, was CANDY QUEEN.