Ratings: ‘Gold Rush,’ Other Unscripted Series Lift Discovery to Big First Quarter

It Ranks No. 1 Among Non-Sports Cable Networks in Men 25-54

Gold Rush Discovery

With “Gold Rush” leading the way, Discovery has wrapped a dominant first quarter in key male demos, including a stranglehold among the rankings for top unscripted cable programs.

For the Dec. 28, 2015-March 27, 2016 ratings period, Discovery stood No. 1 among non-sports cable networks in its target demo of men 25-54. It claimed eight of the top 10 reality shows in this group, including the top three — “Gold Rush” (1.89 million), “Fast N Loud” (1.20 million) and “Alaskan Bush People” (1.18 million). Freshman series “Diesel Brothers” (922,000) and “Street Outlaws: New Orleans” (897,000), airing as part of Discovery’s Motor Monday lineup, also made the list and stood as the quarter’s top new unscripted cable series across all male demos.

Discovery also dominated the cable unscripted rankers in other male categories. It claimed seven of the top 10 in men 18-49 and five of the top 10 in the younger men 18-34 demo, with “Gold Rush” on top in both.

“Gold Rush” was actually the No. 1 Friday series on all of television for the quarter among men 25-54, men 18-49, adults 18-34 and men 18-34 — beating out ABC’s competing “Shark Tank,” which finished on top among adults 18-49.

And while men continue to be the driving force of the network, Discovery also logged its best first quarter in more than a decade among both women 25-54 and women 18-49. “Gold Rush” was its top draw among women 18-49 (846,000 or roughly 35% of its audience), while “Alaskan Bush People” led the way among women 25-54 (990,000 or roughly 45% of its audience).

Overall for the quarter, Discovery was down a bit from last year but finished No. 4 among cable entertainment networks in both total viewers and adults 18-49 and No. 3 (behind only TBS and USA) among adults 25-54. And in both adults 25-54 (782,000) and total viewers (1.59 million), this was the network’s second highest-rated ever.

Outside of “Gold Rush,” the top unscripted cable series for the quarter in 18-49 were VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop,” MTV’s “Teen Mom,” Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and Spike’s “Lip Sync Battle.” And in total viewers, Discovery’s “Gold Rush” and “Alaskan Bush People” were followed by HGTV’s “Fixer Upper,” History’s “Curse of Oak Island” and Discovery’s “Alaska: The Last Frontier.”

(Q1 2016: Dec. 28, 2015-March 27, 2016)

ADULTS 18-49
1.  Gold Rush (Discovery), 2.42 million
2.  Love and Hop Hop (VH1), 2.29 million
3.  Teen Mom (MTV), 2.18 million
4.  Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo), 2.15 million
5.  Lip Sync Battle (Spike), 2.01 million
6.  Keeping Up With the Kardashians (E!), 1.97 million
7.  Alaskan Bush People (Discovery), 1.88 million
8.  Curse of Oak Island (History), 1.63 million
9.  Fast N Loud (Discovery), 1.59 million
10.  Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Bravo), 1.57 million

ADULTS 25-54
1.  Gold Rush (Discovery), 2.86 million
2.  Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo), 2.34 million
3.  Alaskan Bush People (Discovery), 2.17 million
4.  Love and Hip Hop (VH1), 2.05 million
5.  Lip Sync Battle (Spike), 2.00 million
6.  Curse of Oak Island (History), 1.93 million
7.  Teen Mom (MTV), 1.85 million
8.  Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Bravo), 1.83 million
9.  Keeping Up With the Kardashians (E!), 1.76 million
10.  Fast N Loud (Discovery), 1.73 million.

1.  Gold Rush (Discovery), 5.52 million
2.  Alaskan Bush People (Discovery), 4.76
3.  Fixer Upper (HGTV), 4.19
4.  Curse of Oak Island (History), 3.93
5.  Alaska: The Last Frontier (Discovery), 3.84 million
6.  Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo), 3.68 million
7.  Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta (VH1), 3.29 million
8.  American Pickers (History), 3.15
9.  Fast N Loud (Discovery), 3.05
10.  Lip Sync Battle (Spike), 3.04

Source: Nielsen