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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 / July 2012 vs. July 2011 (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

TLC stumbled in both the monthly and yearly ratings this July. While TLC’s successes were few and far between, the network had a few small victories. Friday night was one such bright spot that bucked the overall negative trend.

Fridays featured RANDY TO THE RESCUE and SAY YES TO THE DRESS. RANDY premiered back in June and received modest ratings. Since its inauspicious debut, RANDY has made strides in the right direction: the show was up 20% among women 18-49. Overall, RANDY was the most popular program of the month and each successive telecast gained viewers.

The other well-received Sunday show was SAY YES TO THE DRESS. DRESS, which is now in its eighth season, had an impressive July. The show dominated the network’s list of top 20 telecasts, with a total of seven episodes cracking the list.

DRESS was especially popular with women 18-49. While collective TLC viewership was weak for the most part, new show CHEER PERFECTION fared well. The reality show (which centers around competitive cheerleading) attracted a good-sized audience. CHEER’S viewers were in sync with typical TLC demographics: female skewing with a concentration among 18-49 year olds.

TLC typically has a varied programming schedule with neither runaway successes nor total flops: the majority of the network’s shows simply do satisfactorily. New show CRAFT WARS – featuring Tori Spelling – joined the ranks of TLC’s litany of adequately performing programs.

Although many of TLC’s programs fell in the ratings, no series had a steeper decline than MY BIG FAT AMERICAN GYPSY WEDDING. WEDDING jettisoned 38% of its female viewers 18-49.

Overall, there was very little deviation in ratings from one program to another. Shows such as HOARDING, STRANGE SEX, and EXTREME COUPONING all had very similar viewerships.