As it has been for the last several months, STORAGE WARS continues to dominate the schedule for A&E. The month saw stacked episodes of the hit series 5 nights of the week – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. (The show also made appearances on Sundays as well.) DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER remains in the primetime lineup along with newcomer DUCK DYNASTY, anchoring Wednesdays. Monday nights were crime with stacked episodes of series BEYOND SCARED STRAIGHT while DUCK DYNASTY and CRIMINAL MINDS took over the Sunday night lineup.
MAY PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live+SD Primetime Ratings Comparison / May 2012 vs. May 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
Characters, crime, and storage were the foal points of the schedule in May for A&E. What appears to be a relatively flat month in viewers compared to last year, upon closer inspection, proves to be a big step forward in A&E's hunt to claim more of the younger male demographics. Men 18-49 were up 22% compared to a year ago, and Men 25-54 were up 21%. This is not without sacrificing the female demographics, however, and numbers in the key female demos were down across the board. And more female-skewing shows (like STORAGE WARS, which was down 14% compared to last year) are showing signs of year-to-year audience erosion. There was an incredible reliance on STORAGE WARS for A&E this month - the show aired 78 times in primetime in May.
Monday night's lineup in May featured BEYOND SCARED STRAIGHT back-to-back throughout the night. Though in overall viewers, the night was down compared to last year, men were clearly tuning in. Men 18-34 and 25-54 were up 32% and 14%, respectively. Even better performing than BEYOND SCARED STRAIGHT was a marathon of DUCK DYNASTY on 5/21, which most definitely contributed to the solid growth in male viewers. Still, the night struggled to make average numbers, and overall, was the weakest of the week for A&E.
Tuesday nights were all about STORAGE WARS, and the numbers were up significantly across all the key demographics, male and female, compared to the same timeslot last year.
Wednesdays featured a lineup of more STORAGE WARS, DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER, and DUCK DYNASTY. The night of powerhouse original series is the strongest of the night for A&E and numbers were up across the board compared to a year ago. DUCK DYNASTY, which is up 5% from last month, continues to score well above-average numbers - A&E clearly has another hit on their hands.
THE FIRST 48 continues to anchor Thursday nights. Premieres are still hitting well above-average. As expected, the night is one of the strongest female-skewing nights of the week (tied with Wednesday nights.) The genre, and this program, continue to succeed. THE FIRST 48 is up 11% compared to last year. Despite A&E's reluctance to continue in the crime space, this show continues to succeed for the network.
Friday's and Saturday's lineup is almost entirely devoted to STORAGE WARS. Many airings hit average or above average. On Saturdays, the lead-out show rotated throughout the month - the best performing was FLIPPED OFF; worst performing was an A&E Independent film about Paul Simon.
Sundays in May featured a lineup of STORAGE WARS, DUCK DYNASTY, and CRIMINAL MINDS. CRIMINAL MINDS continues to score big numbers in its airings. DUCK DYNASTY did not perform as well in repeats for the night.