VH1 Comes Out On Top For The Summer Due To Ratings Success Of Its Black Reality Shows

September 16, 2014  |  

The numbers are in and VH1 ends the summer on a high note with African-American TV viewers. According to the latest Nielsen figures, the network got its biggest boost from its most popular Black programs. “For the last unofficial week of the summer, VH1 saw its favorite shows with Black viewers dominating the highest spots on the Top 25 list of cable shows,” reports Target Market News. On top were: Love & Hip Hop, T.I. and Tiny, and Atlanta Exes, which finished No. 1, 2 and 3 respectively. These were the only programs to claim more than a million viewers.

This was a victory for VH1 as it turned out to be the most watched cable network among the Top 25 contenders, with 9.7 million viewers across four shows. In second was WWE channel with just three million for three shows.  Adult Swim channel pulled in 2.9 million across four shows.

“The total number of viewers watching the Top 25 most popular cable shows in Black households, according to Nielsen, was 26.5 million, a slight dip of one percent over the previous week,” reports Target Market News. Among Black households, following Love & Hip Hop, T.I. and Tiny, and Atlanta Exes, the other shows in the top 10 were: Love & Hip Hop Atlanta 3 (VH1), WWE Entertainment (USA), ranked No. 5 and No. 6; Braxton Family Values (WETV); WWE Entertainment; Bad Girls Club (Oxygen); and Bring It! (Lifetime).

Despite its success with Black audiences, VH1 has been trying to unsuccessfully lure in white audiences. Three new series featuring White casts have flopped. LeAnn & Eddie, Candidly Nicole and Dating Naked failed to pull in the ratings that shows with Black casts have for the network. As The Hollywood Reporter writes, “Reality series starring African-American casts continue to drive the cable network to some of the year’s biggest primetime gains.”

“The goal is to bring a general market audience back into the fold in addition to servicing our African-American audience,” originals executive VP Susan Levison told THR earlier this year.

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