The Style Network is about to embark on an adventure in constructive self-loathing, as the Comcast-owned cable channel gets ready to launch the new series What I Hate About Me.
Hosted by Style personality Lisa Arch (Clean House), What I Hate About Me is an unconventional makeover show that challenges women to address the 10 aspects of their lives they dislike the most. Along with the obligatory complaints about cellulite and relationships, the women who appear on the show will look to get a handle on everything from intra-family dynamics to the way they manage their financial affairs.
After each guest lays bare the things she can’t abide in herself, Arch and a rotating panel of experts (including boxer/motivational speaker Laila Ali, nutritionist Rachel Beller and radio host Emily Morse) will attempt to devise pragmatic solutions to some of the more vexing problems.
Style has ordered 10 one-hour episodes of What I Hate About Me, which debuts Jan. 2, 2010, at 9 p.m. “We think that’s a great time to launch a series like this,” said Style Network president Salaam Coleman Smith. “The new year has just begun and every woman is still thinking about all those resolutions she made the day before.”
In addition to the new series, Style is bringing back one of its highest-rated program, clearing the ground for Ruby to return for a third season in the first quarter of 2010. A chronicle of a Savannah woman’s struggle with morbid obesity––once weighing in at 716 lbs, Ruby Gettinger is now down to around 350 lbs––the show drew 545,000 viewers in its second season premiere.
“There’s a popular misconception that Style is all about presenting perfect images of women and nothing could be further from the truth,” said Coleman Smith. “Ruby’s an endemic program in that it addresses the idea of transformation…and not only on an external level. Her story is very much about her internal transformation. There’s a raw honesty to it and our viewers are tapping into that.”
While Style remains a niche offering––the network averaged 170,000 prime time viewers in the third quarter––it’s a strong buy for clients looking to reach upscale females. Nielsen ranks Style tops in concentration among affluent women 18-49 (read: those boasting an annual household income of $125,000+), and the network is showing steady growth among its core demo. In Q3, Style’s prime time deliveries of W18-49 were up 8 percent versus the year-ago period, while October has seen the demo rise 17 percent.
Style is also the most female-skewing cable network, as women account for 81 percent of its total audience, according to MRI Doublebase.
Given the network’s clearly-defined target demo and expanding footprint––by year’s end, it should pass the 60 million subscriber mark––Style has been an appealing buy for brands in the health and beauty category as well as retail. But the channel’s emphasis on lifestyle programming makes it a more open-ended proposition, which in turn has helped draw business from less outwardly endemic categories such as financial services.
“Style is such a broad concept and so many of our shows touch on a number of different layers,” Coleman Smith said. “It’s not superficial or exclusionary, and that makes us relevant to a much wider base of advertisers.”