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Viewers might not be ready to marry FYI, but they certainly gave it a shot on Tuesday night. The first outing for the rebranded A+E Network, formerly BIO, brought triple-digit ratings gains in at least one demographic.
FYI’s ambitious rollout of unscripted originals (six this month) started with the premiere of Married at First Sight. The 9 p.m. telecast averaged 270,000 viewers — 149,000 of them adults 18-49. Its a modest start, to be sure, but it’s a marked improvement from BIO’s recent primetime average. The 90-minute launch lifted viewership by 64 percent and an impressive 122 percent in the younger demo.
“Viewers have certainly embraced FYI’s buzzy first original series, Married at First Sight,” said FYI and LMN president Jana Bennett on Wednesday. “We have many more exciting new shows to come, focusing on embracing personal creativity and improvised living for an upscale audience with a modern sensibility. The immediate impact of the rebrand to FYI is an extremely rewarding first step in evolving and maturing BIO in a rapidly changing landscape.”
The network is targeting a potentially younger set, with lifestyle programming aimed at web-savvy viewers.
Married at First Sight, based on Danish format, rides the wave of social experimentation in reality and follows three couples who agree to get married on the spot. It also averaged 123,000 adults 25-54, the smallest improvement from BIO up 56 percent.
The rollout continues Wednesday with two other debuts: Rowhouse Showdown and Tiny House Nation. World Food Championships, B.O.R.N. to Style and Epic Meal Empire follow later this month.
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