Bravo Upfronts – Which Bravo TV Shows from 2012 Won’t Be Returning

Cancelled By Bravo

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Yesterday Bravo Media announced an impressive and LONG list of returning shows as well as new pickups and new shows going into development.

Much pertinent information can often be gleaned from what is not said in the Bravo Upfronts press release and this includes which television shows weren’t mentioned as getting a new season. The list below details those that aired in 2012, with links to their episodic ratings, which presumably weren’t renewed for the coming season. A quick look at these ratings (all via Nielsen Media and are Live + Same Day) pretty much explains why each respective show hasn’t gotten another season.

The only Bravo Media television show that aired in 2012 and isn’t returning in 2013, that wasn’t cancelled by the network per se, is Bethenny Frankel’s, spin-off from the season three’s The Real Housewives of New York; named in its second and third seasons; Bethenny Ever After. After last summer’s successful trial run Frankel’s Telepictures produced talk show was picked up for a full season’s run this summer and presumably there just isn’t time to film reality for Bravo.

However, there are another ten shows that one can only deduce have been cancelled as there was no mention of them by Bravo Media in yesterday’s returning shows announcement. Three of these made it to a second season before their demise but seven fell at their first hurdle. Below we’ve listed the average ratings achieved for each show for its 2012 season and these numbers act as a cautionary tale to other shows airing on Bravo currently that are only attracting similar ratings. Rachel Zoe, Brad Goreski, The Dukes of Melrose and the three LA Shrinks should all take note as their current seasons are all rating within the ratings territory of these cancelled shows.

Of the ten cancelled series, the one with the highest rating was the freshman travel & cooking competition Around The World in 80 Plates, which averaged just over 750,000 viewers per episode throughout its ten episode run. Scoring 0.30 in the important advertiser demographic of viewers aged 18 to 49, (that’s an average 431,700 viewers in that age group) meant that the show was not a profitable one for Bravo Media, particularly due to its expensive travel and productions cost.

Fellow cooking show Life After Top Chef, a spin off from the highly successful Top Chef franchise featured three previous TC contestants and fan favorites but never really found an audience. After its premiere attracted 620,000 viewers, the ratings plunged and it closed out its season averaging just 484,250 (demo 0.20).

All three shows that made it to a second season before being cancelled, were frankly lucky to receive a renewal in the first place. Pregnant in Heels, Million Dollar Decorators & Kathy Griffin’s talk vehicle Kathy averaged in their first seasons; 598,000 (0.30), 611,000 (0.30) and 721,447 (0.40) respectively. And while Kathy’s Season 1 ratings appear high enough to be renewed (demo 0.40), once that initial season lost Don’t Be Tardy For The Wedding as its lead-in, the last several episodes averaged 573,000 viewers and just 0.20 in the 18-49 demo. So given that their second season ratings either only improved marginally; PIH and MDD, or dropped precipitously (Kathy), we’re not shocked that a third season of each didn’t eventuate.

Over the last couple of years Bravo have tried to grow their ensemble docu-dramas beyond their incredibly successful Housewives franchise but with only very limited success. Miami Social, New York Prep, Most Eligible Dallas and 2012′s Gallery Girls all came and went with only Shahs of Sunset surviving as a non Housewives ensemble cast show. Both Shahs and fellow renewed show Chef Roble & Co. were given a strong boost in their initial seasons, as they had Bravo’s Number 1 show; The Real Housewives of Atlanta as their lead-in.

Several of the ensemble shows that didn’t make it to a second season involved an ensemble cast with an average age under 30 years. Viewers attracted to this age group are an attractive demographic for advertisers but with Gallery Girls not lasting, Shahs remains the only successful show in this age group, that isn’t a Housewives’ spin-off. Vanderpump Rules, which also was renewed, as was Don’t Be Tardy… and The Kandi Factory (after its successful solo show last year) are all Housewives’ spin-offs.

In our multimedia saturated world it is becoming harder and harder for new shows to build an audience, and while many argue that Nielsen Ratings use 20th century technology to measure 21st metrics, the fact of that matter is that it is only when many people view a television show at the same time can they interact through social media and build Buzz. Someone Tweeting while watching their DVR recording at 2am or a Midnight repeat of a new show might be read by their 100 followers but it’ll never trend on Twitter.

Sadly, neither of the new-media shows commissioned by Bravo last year, got to see another season, but then again they didn’t earn it either. Indeed each of the two; Randi Zuckerberg’s Start Ups: Silicon Valley and LOLWork suffered the indignity during their short lived runs of being banished from Bravo’s prime-time schedule; Lolwork to Wednesdays at 11:30pm and SUSV to Tuesdays at 7pm (a fate which also befell the ill-fated Love Broker). After we published the ratings for SUSV’s second episode, Randi Zuckerberg replied via Twitter asking:

to which we replied:

If Randi Zuckerberg didn’t believe me then, I presume she does now. Yes, viewership for Live +3 and Live +7 is often higher than Live + Same Day, however if a show can’t generate sufficient buzz to attract viewers at the time it originally airs, it will only see marginal increases in the longer measurements.

It’s certainly good luck from us to all the new shows coming to Bravo this year and we hope that this time next year, we won’t be writing about another ten shows that didn’t make it.

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Ratings for Cancelled Bravo TV shows – 2012
Category SHOW SEASONS ORIGINAL AIRING AVERAGE AUDIENCE AVERAGE 18-49 18-49 DEMO%
Food Around the World in 80 Plates 1 9-May-12 750,600 431,700 0.34
Love Pregnant in Heels 2 15-May-12 722,400 440,200 0.35
Real Estate Million Dollar Decorators 2 13-Nov-12 651,375 328,500 0.25
Ensemble Gallery Girls 1 13-Aug-12 589,625 376,125 0.31
Love Miss Advised 1 18-Jun-12 573,750 336,625 0.26
Food Life After Top Chef 1 3-Oct-12 484,250 264,875 0.20
New Media Start Ups; Silicon Valley 1 5-Nov-12 441,429 329,200 0.21
Talk Kathy 2 10-Jan-13 417,167 231,583 0.18
Love Love Broker 1 5-Mar-12 400,200 240,400 0.18
New Media LOLWork 1 7-Nov-12 377,250 234,500 0.18

Source: Nielsen Media Research via TVByTheNumbers, TheFutonCritic, SonOfTheBronx and/or Bravo Media and is based on Live + Same Day Ratings on Initial Airing

  • sk

    loved la shrinks!! bring back!!!

  • Per

    My girlfriend and I was amazed to find that Decorators was cancelled!?!? This was and amazingly fun show!!! :-(

  • Leah

    Shame about Million Dollar Decorators. This is by far the best show the network has produced in some time. The rest of it is junk. Sad how a show about talented people tanks, but real housewives stays on the air. Guess I’ll just stick to HGTV