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'Pawn Stars' helps History finish in top five among cable networks

December 21, 2011 | 11:53 am

Pawn star
History has had a banner year, finishing in the top five cable networks and growing its audience in advertiser-coveted age groups on the strength of programs such as “Pawn Stars,” “Top Gear” and “Ax Men.”

No one even calls it “the Hitler channel” anymore.

The network, home also to “American Restoration,” “Ice Road Truckers” and “Swamp People,” is the top-ranked nonfiction network in key viewer demographics and the second-ranked network for men behind ESPN. It was the only cable channel in the top five to grow its ratings among adults age 25 to 54 and adults age 18 to 49.

While History has long been a favorite for scholars, documentary fans and older viewers, the cable network has made major inroads with younger audiences that draw in significant ad dollars. It now rates as the No. 2 choice of men 18-49 in primetime, and is the fifth most popular network with adults 18-49.

Aside from its regular series, History has become a destination for event specials and miniseries. This year’s “Gettysburg,” from Tony and Ridley Scott, won four Emmys, and “Vietnam in HD” and “Targeting Bin Laden” drew large audiences.

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-- T.L. Stanley

Photo: Rick Harrison of "Pawn Stars" on History. Credit: History

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