WE tv has expanded its programming focus beyond weddings and is examining family life. Several families WE looks at are composed of ordinary people, others contain celebrities. In the interview below, WE tv chief Kim Martin discusses the appeal of “Braxton Family Values” and how social media has increased interest in reality TV. This interview extends a session that appeared in CableFAX Daily on Friday, May 20.
CableFAX: Why is “Braxton Family Values” tracking so well? It’s your biggest hit, right?
Kim Martin: It is. I think it’s doing so well because it deals with the relationship between 5 sisters and that’s such a relate-able relationship for women across the country. Anybody who has sisters knows what it is to love your sisters, but to fight with your sisters. And here you have one sister who’s been very successful and four others who are very talented, but haven’t realized the same amount of success. They’re very competitive with each other, and they try to do it in a nice way, but at times emotions take control and you can see they all want to be the star, particularly the youngest. We can all relate to that youngest sister, who maybe is just a bigger personality and a little more spoiled than the rest of us.
[Editor’s Note: On Tuesday night (5/17/11), WE tv was the #1 women’s cable network for W18-49 delivery (412,000), in the 9-10 pm time period, led by the network’s original series Braxton Family Values. WE tv ranked #4 for W18-49, #5 for W25-54 (363,000) and #7 for W18-34 (226,000) among all ad-supported cable networks.]
CableFAX: Are you a sister?
KM: Yes, I’m the oldest of 4. I have 2 younger sisters.
CableFAX: Some people say viewers watching TV with various media vying for their attention makes a tough sell for complicated dramas, where viewers need to concentrate on plot and characters.
KM: I can’t comment on complicated dramas, but I can say it’s really generated interest in reality TV because it gives you an opportunity at the moment you are watching to find out more about the characters. So with Braxtons, we had one of the sisters tweeting last night (May 10), and we were streaming the live tweets on our screen. That began with episode 6 and will continue with the rest of the series. We think that because it makes it so of the moment, it actually makes women more interested in the shows and drives tune-in. They’ll look at their Facebook page or Twitter feed and see Braxton is tweeting, and they’ll tune in.
[Editor’s Note: Braxton Family Values for May 17 was cable’s #2 show for Twitter activity, according to Trendrr. www.trendrr.tv]
CableFAX: What’s the story behind the so-called dot diss?
KM: The youngest Braxton sister, Tamar, is an over-the-top personality and she’s of the moment. So everything she talks about is in dot com lingo. So when she on the show, particularly when she gets aggravated at someone, she has a dot com that applies. So it could be ‘I’m so over this dot com’ or ‘This is bulls#i$ dot com.’ It’s really gotten the social media traffic abuzz about the show and her particularly.
CableFAX: How does the upfront look for you?
KM: Since we have a strong slate and have refined our brand and focus advertiser interest is at an all-time high for WE tv. So we’re in a fantastic place.