A&E Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

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 4 nights of the week – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.  Monday nights continued the return of GENE SIMMONS and MONSTER IN-LAWS to the primetime lineup.  STORAGE WARS and DUCK DYNASTY anchor Wednesdays.  Scripted series now anchor Sunday nights - in June, it was THE GLADES and LONGMIRE.

JUNE PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live+SD Primetime Ratings Comparison / June 2012 vs. June 2011 (% Change)

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-31%

-22%

-15%

Tuesday 8-11pm

73%

64%

65%

Wednesday 8-11pm

28%

33%

27%

Thursday 8-11pm

-15%

-20%

-19%

Friday 8-11pm

7%

39%

37%

Saturday 8-11pm

14%

-2%

2%

Sunday 8-11pm

34%

10%

24%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

14%

10%

16%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

June was a solid month for A&E, which, according to network press, was the "best June on record with 20% growth" and was the "most watched June in network history among adults 25-54, adults 18-49, and in total viewers." (AETN Press, 6/26/12).  Overall, numbers were up across the board this month for A&E, though there were some nights that have continued to be a struggle for the network.  But with a slate of new shows, big series announcements (on both the scripted and unscripted side), AETN's flagship network, halfway through 2012, is poised to continue to grow with leaps and bounds.

Monday nights were one of the only nights of the week to experience a drop in viewers.  June 2012 saw the return of GENE SIMMONS and MONSTER IN-LAWS to the primetime lineup.  While the night scored about average among women 18-49 and women 25-54, men in the same demos came in below average.  Still, compared to last year, GENE SIMMONS fell across the board among all the key demos.  Overall, the night came in well below average, and, for another month, was the weakest of the week for A&E.

Tuesday night's lineup of STORAGE WARS tells a different story - the night was up significantly compared to June of 2011, and was one of the strongest of the week.  Numbers overall and across the key demos were all well over average as the storage genre continues to deliver both male and female viewers.

Wednesdays in June saw more STORAGE wars paired with DUCK DYNASTY in the 10pm slot.  The night was clearly up compared to June 2011 in both overall viewers and key male and female demographics, but DUCK DYNASTY couldn't hold the same lead-in numbers as STORAGE WARS.  BARTER KINGS, which took over for DUCK DYNASTY in the last week of the month, faired better with its lead out numbers.

Crime was on the agenda for Thursday night.  Despite the hot genre, numbers were below average across the board, and all the key demographics saw some decline compared to June of 2011.  Both THE FIRST 48 and CAJUN JUSTICE struggled to hit average throughout the month.  Tired episodes are the most likely culprit here.

Fridays and Saturdays featured a lineup of stacked favorites including STORAGE WARS, BARTER KINGS, and DUCK DYNASTY.  Numbers were below average but steady, and STORAGE WARS always seems to have the ability to build an audience throughout the night whenever its scheduled in stacked episodes.

Sundays for A&E have become a focal point of the primetime lineup with high-profile series.  In June, it was CRIMINAL MINDS, THE GLADES, and LONGMIRE.  Though the night skews the oldest for the network, it is also the strongest of the week, and saw solid year-to-year growth across the board.  LONGMIRE nearly doubles average.  It's clear that A&E's viewers are responding well to scripted programming, and based on new programming announcements made by the network, something that they are embracing whole-heartedly.  It's already paying off for the network.

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