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TLC Analysis


TLC focuses on character and story driven reality programming with 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 / April 2012 vs. April 2011 (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

This April, TLC climbed a few notches above last month but experienced a drop from the year before.  Out of the network’s prodigious lineup, paranormal reality show LONG ISLAND MEDIUM enjoyed the best ratings.

MEDIUM, now in its second season, has emerged as a hit for the network.  In March it was TLC’s most popular show and, while it did not retain the top spot in April, its five premiere telecasts were TLC’s highest rated for the month.  The show derives the bulk of its audience from women aged 18-49, though many older women are avid viewers as well.

In addition to strong live numbers, MEDIUM also benefited from a sizeable boost once same day views were tacked on – an 18% mark up among women aged 18-49.  Thanks to MEDIUM’s dedicated fan base, Sundays were TLC’s strongest night of the week.  Sundays certainly were not bolstered by the night’s other primetime program – LEAVE IT TO NIECY.  NIECY, which features comedian Niecy Nash, freefell 43% from last month and failed to broach the network’s top 20 programs.

19 KIDS AND COUNTING – which only featured three telecasts in April – earned a sizeable audience.  The finale of season nine dealt with the miscarriage of what would have been the 20th child for the Duggars.

SAY YES TO THE DRESS: BRIDESMAIDS and LITTLE COUPLE both ended up in the middle of the pack.

MY BIG FAT AMERICAN GYPSY WEDDING premiered at the end of April to a very warm reception.  The show is a spinoff of MY BIG FAT GYPSY WEDDING, which originally aired in the UK before being picked up by TLC.  WEDDING had only one telecast – the series premiere – but the new show has already garnered an impressive audience.  As far as individual telecasts are concerned, the show was only outdone by MEDIUM.

WEDDING could become a certified hit for a network that has a unique talent for creating an abundance of shows that are neither flops nor runaway successes.  One program that did break the mold of uniform satisfactoriness was MY MOTHER DIANA. DIANA, a special about the late princess, was easily the weakest element of TLC’s April schedule.  The documentary fared worse than the poorly rated STRANGE SEX as well as reruns of TODDLERS & TIARA and MY CRAZY OBSESSION.