NEW YORK, March 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Exploration and adventures on land, sea – and even beyond the skies – will drive Travel Channel's programming itinerary in 2017. Well positioned to build on its double-digit, year-over-year primetime ratings growth in 2016, the network has commissioned more than 390 new hours of programming this year, including several freshman series and more than 18 pilots. And, to further expand online users' access to travel-related content, Scripps Lifestyle Studios, the network's trusted mobile resource, will offer new digital video series, photo galleries, articles, blog posts, quizzes, tips and insider information to help make travel adventures unforgettable.
On air, Travel Channel will showcase more epic stories, exotic locales and famous places that hold the secrets to fascinating events, characters and legends.
After the success of his search for the Yeti, adventurer and explorer Josh Gates (Expedition Unknown) will return this October in Expedition Unknown: Hunt For ExtraTerrestrials – a four-part investigative journey to four continents. Gates also will host Legend Has It (wt), a new show that unlocks the amazing experiences modern travelers will discover when they visit ancient global hotspots.
Philippe Cousteau, the grandson of legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau, and his journalist wife, Ashlan, will explore the world's most beautiful waters and uncover incredible stories in Caribbean Pirate Treasure, a newly greenlit series about sailors, pirates and the trail they left behind. Finally, history explorer Don Wildman will be out on assignment, seeking answers, in new blockbuster Mysteries at the Museum specials that will appeal to everyone in the family.
"Travel Channel's 11 percent year-over-year primetime ratings growth is a strong indicator that the programming themes we're developing appeal to the target audience," said Kathleen Finch, chief programming, content and brand officer for HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country. "Our emphasis on smart scheduling strategy and super serving viewers with content featuring the hosts they love, paid off with significant ratings increases across the board."
Travel Channel also has additional returning hit series starring more of its fan-favorite experts, including cocktail connoisseur Jack Maxwell (Booze Traveler), hotel expert Anthony Melchiorri (Hotel Impossible) and culinary traveler Andrew Zimmern (Bizarre Foods). A perfect companion series to Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations, The Zimmern List (wt) will take viewers to a new city where Zimmern will reveal his favorite eateries and dishes. In Booze Traveler: Best Bars, Maxwell will do what he does best – get to know people and places through cocktails. This time, he is on a fun-filled mission to find the best bars and drinks for any occasion in the United States, including Chicago, Maui, Hawaii and San Francisco.
Travel Channel's Dive In franchise delivered a stellar ratings performance in 2016, and is back in June with warm weather escapes that celebrate heart-pumping water thrills, beautiful beach destinations and over-the-top water slides. Featured series include: Top Secret Swimming Holes, Top Secret Beaches and Top Secret Waterfalls and Xtreme Waterparks. Ultimate Pools and Pools With a View will tantalize viewers with the most extraordinary places to take a dip on the planet. Two new specials, Xtreme Cruise Ships and Xtreme Underwater, will reveal the most unique and outrageous luxury liners and underwater locations.
In October, it's time to take a weeklong Scarecation – all the tricks and treats – with Halloween-themed programming to the spookiest travel destinations. Finally, the network closes out 2017 by expanding its immensely popular Chillcation programming event to two weeks. From December 25, 2017 to January 6, 2018, the chilly specials will showcase favorite shows and talent as they explore the world's coolest locations for fun, food, thrills and icy escapades.
Since half the fun of travel is getting there, Travel Channel also has a cache of new pilots featuring hilarious road trips, surprising hotel stays, heaping plates of tasty treats and the best off-the-beaten-path places to visit. Social media star Ricky Smith is Travel Channel's Yes Man, traveling the country to learn about the wildest, craziest, coolest and sometimes flat-out dumbest things to do for fun. And, he just can't bring himself to say no to any of the experiences. In Weird America, Irish comedian Kevin McGahern is discovering America for the first time on the ultimate road trip – visiting quirky motels, indulging in outrageous room amenities and taking a big bite out of humongous food.
Pilot, adventurer and travel writer Kellee Edwards is an Island Explorer – on the hunt to find the best bargains, private beaches and magical experiences on the planet's lesser-known islands. $1K Getaway follows expert couples that know how to stretch their vacation dollars in the world's top destinations. Vantastic is the perfect new offering for anyone who wants to find a dream weekend warrior machine, then deck it out to maximize good times and avoid blowing money on hotels.
When it comes to finding information online, travelers in the know, know that Travelchannel.com has it covered. As part of Scripps Lifestyle Studios, the network's website expands its on-air themes to deliver fresh content and fun short-form videos that entertain, inspire and inform Travel Channel fans. Tips from pros advise on the best new travel gear and gadgets, how to see the world on a budget, how to map out an all-American road trip, where to go for thrilling, water-filled family adventures at popular theme parks and how to create romantic escapes to magnificent beaches. And, with tons of "listicles" and guides to savory destinations, anyone can design a culinary adventure.
"For many of us, what to eat, where to drink and how to find the inside scoop on secret spots to explore are a big part of the travel experience," added Finch. "Our 2017 programming slate reflects the diverse interests of the audience and is a big reason that we expect to continue this positive ratings trajectory."
Travel Channel Performance Highlights:
Travel Channel saw an 11 percent YOY increase in 2016, with W25-54 up 10 percent versus last year.
The network has grown in upscale viewers. There was a 22 percent increase across the major Nielsen income breaks in 2016 vs. 2015.
Among millennials, the prime rating grew 7 percent over last year.
The Expedition Unknown: Hunt for the Yeti special attracted more than seven million total viewers during its run and was one of Travel Channel's top performing shows of 2016.
ABOUT TRAVEL CHANNEL
For virtual and active travelers who want to go on a thrilling quest; taste other cultures; enjoy the mystery of the unexplored; get a dose of epic adventure or a splash of wacky fun; there is no better daily escape than Travel Channel. Reaching more than 84 million U.S. cable homes, Travel Channel is the world's leading travel media brand. Fans also can visit Travel Channel for more information or interact with other fans through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Travel Channel is owned by Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc., which also owns and operates HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country.
ABOUT SCRIPPS LIFESTYLE STUDIOS
Launched in December 2015, Scripps Lifestyle Studios is a digital business division of Scripps Networks Interactive, created to drive digital content innovation and advertising solutions. In 2016, Scripps Lifestyle Studios delivered over 5 billion total video views across various digital platforms and has achieved an average of 812 million video views and 356 million visitors across its platforms in the early months of 2017. Combining the digital content operations of HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, Great American Country and Food.com, this full service editorial unit spearheads development of compelling lifestyle experiences across social media, apps, websites, third party offerings and more. Scripps Lifestyle Studios operates physical locations through the Food Network Kitchen in New York and the HGTV Studio in Knoxville, Tennessee. Visit www.scrippslifestylestudios.com.
SOURCE Travel Channel