For the remainder of the summer, HGTV will air three hours in a row of fantasy programming premieres on Sunday nights alone, including new series Beach Hunters, plus new episodes of Beachfront Bargain Hunt, Island Life and other themed shows. Travel Channel will continue its run of new eps of outdoor vacation-oriented content including Secret Swimming Holes and Secret Beaches. In total, Scripps nets will launch 16 new series during this summer and air new seasons of 30-plus returning series.
Sensing a theme? “What we learned last summer is our viewers love the beach, so this summer – especially at HGTV and Travel, we’re increasing a lot of those titles,” says Finch.
At Hallmark Channel, summer begins with its June Weddings promo, this year featuring four consecutive weeks of themed original movies. “The momentum going into July and August is very important to establish those viewing patterns as people get into summer,” Bill Abbott tells Cynopsis.
August will see the debuts on consecutive Saturday nights of five summer movies “that will be geared more toward the beach and more toward what one would experience in summer,” Abbott says. Additionally, the network in August will bow season 2 of Chesapeake Shores, “a series that is very much more like a summer-type environment,” he says.
“We absolutely program to the time of year,” says Z Living GM Rafe Oller, who notes the network steered clear of airing weight loss show Altar’d in the winter “because no one wants to hear about weight loss over holidays.” During the warm months in particular, he says, “we look for shows that are fun. I came from Fox, and look at [when we] launched American Idol. That’s been a pattern for a lot of networks.”
Mitch Petrie , VP of programming for Sportsman Channel, says seasonality is a key component of parent Outdoor Sportsman’s programming strategy, and Q3 in particular heats up in preparation for the fall hunting season. Together, Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network will release 60-70 new episodes per week over the summer. “The third quarter is a major launch for our networks,” he says. “It’s unique, mostly because the content we are airing is in the hunting genre and the seasonality for hunting is in the fall so seasonality really has been driving that.”
“What we learned last summer is our viewers love the beach, so this summer – especially at HGTV and Travel, we’re increasing a lot of those titles,” says Scripps’ Finch.