Sunday, May 28, 2006

TOP CHEF Finale Was Highest Rated Cable Series Of Night - Harold Dieterle Wins

Over 1.5 million total viewers tuned into the finale of Bravo′s culinary competition series TOP CHEF as the no-nonsense Harold Dieterle was named the first season winner, confirming the show′s status as the Number One food show on cable so far this year in the 18-49 and 25-54 demos. The finale was also the top rated original series on cable in the key 18-49 and 25-54 demos. The hit series grew steadily throughout its debut season, building 99% among total viewers, 92% among P18-49 and 142% among P25-54 since its first 10:00 p.m. installment on March 15.

"TOP CHEF′s cast of passionate personalities and their outstanding creative work in the kitchen consistently delivered dramatic entertainment for viewers week after week, and it shows with these numbers in just its first season," said Lauren Zalaznick, President, Bravo. "This show appeals to a wide audience of foodies and non-foodies alike, and we are proud of Harold′s accomplishment. Bravo looks forward to serving up even more delicious drama and meeting a new group of talented chefs for season two."

The May 24 finale episode of TOP CHEF garnered a 1.4 HH coverage rating and over one million viewers in both the 18-49 and 25-54 demos. Versus the program′s prior series average, last night′s finale telecast was up by 27% among total viewers, 18% among adults 18-49 and 34% among adults 25-54.

Overall, season one of TOP CHEF averaged a 1.1 HH coverage rating, over 1.2 million total viewers (up 209% from year-ago time period averages), 866,000 viewers 18-49 (up 255% year-to-year) and 819,000 viewers 25-54 (up 223% year-to-year).

Top Chef also sizzled this season with its successful interactive TV component. Bravo and NBC Universal Cable entered into an interactive partnership with Time Warner Cable for TOP CHEF, each week inviting viewers to respond with their remote control to a series of topical questions that pop up on the screen during each episode. Responses were highlighted through an on-screen graphic, allowing viewers to see how others responded in real time in their local markets. Twenty five percent of TOP CHEF viewers in the feature′s available markets participated in the interactive polling feature during last night′s finale, building an impressive 500% from the March premiere of the series.

The TOP CHEF finale featured live voting results across three platforms -- cable remote, mobile text messaging and online -- which is the first time this multi-platform strategy has ever been applied in the U.S. Viewers voted for which chef - Harold or Tiffani - they felt deserved the title of TOP CHEF, and the results were displayed on screen in real time during the episode.