LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - For cable television's Bravo, gay is good for business.
The network's parent, broadcaster NBC, on Friday said this week's airing of the smash hit make-over series "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" not only set new network records, it out-drew all but one regular broadcast program in its 10 p.m. slot in the key 18-49 age group demographic.
Featuring five gay men with expertise in grooming, food, culture, interior design and fashion, "Queer Eye" has broken Bravo ratings records for three weeks in a row and for six of the last eight weeks.
Taking advantage of the show's success, NBC has pulled in episodes of the show from Bravo to air on its own prime-time schedule, usually in tandem with episodes of its gay-themed comedy "Will & Grace (news - Y! TV)." It has also licensed the show and its concept to broadcasters in Britain and Scandinavia.
Citing figures from Nielsen Media Research, NBC said this week's episode of "Queer Eye" drew 3.35 million total viewers, only the second time Bravo has broken the 3 million mark. Before "Queer Eye," Bravo's record total viewer audience was about 1.3 million.
In the 18-49 demographic key to advertisers, the "Queer Eye" episode, featuring a make-over of data entry technician Josh Diaz, rated higher than any other show on advertising-supported cable and every broadcast show except an NBC repeat of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."
Leading in to "Queer Eye's" success, Bravo said the final episode of the dating show "Boy Meets Boy," which aired Tuesday at 9 p.m., also set new ratings records. "Boy" drew 1.62 million total viewers, which NBC said was the cable network's highest-rated show ever except for "Queer Eye."
NBC is a unit of General Electric Co.