A&E Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

A&E's primetime lineup features 6 nights a week of original series in themed nights.  STORAGE WARS and spin-offs STORAGE WARS TEXAS and SHIPPING WARS continues to be a dominating force in the schedule, back up to 4 times a week in October.  Crime is the theme for the Thursday night lineup, which features THE FIRST 48.  Other reality originals air on Mondays, while Fridays in October was reserved for a lineup of CRIMINAL MINDS. Sunday nights have shifted from scripted originals to more STORAGE.  According to recent press, A&E is looking to transition to a lineup comprised completely of original series, with no off-network acquisitions.

OCTOBER PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

18%

8%

12%

Tuesday 8-11pm

2%

-22%

-17%

Wednesday 8-11pm

0%

7%

10%

Thursday 8-11pm

-4%

4%

-2%

Friday 8-11pm

10%

42%

42%

Saturday 8-11pm

-19%

-17%

-15%

Sunday 8-11pm

-14%

16%

13%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-2%

2%

4%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

After a tough close to the summer for A&E, it appears that ratings have stabilized in October.  Overall HH demos fell 2%, but the key younger demographics saw signs of growth, and several nights of original series saw increased compared to October 2011.  And the network is skewing much more male than it was a year ago; Females 18-49 and Females 25-54 were down 4% and 3%, respectively, while Men 18-49 and Men 25-54 saw increases of 11% and 12%, as shows like DUCK DYNASTY and BILLY THE EXTERMINATOR were on the schedule for October.  And look for more original series to come down the pike; as noted above, according to recent network press, the network will be looking to eliminate any off-network acquisitions from its schedule - a tremendous opportunity for the production community.

Mondays in October saw moderate increases compared to last year.  Overall viewers were up 18%.  The night is comprised of a lineup of more female-skewing shows, HOARDERS and INTERVENTION.  And, both programs saw big year-to-increases; viewers for HOARDERS were up 25% compared to October 2011, while INTERVENTION saw a jump of 42% among overall viewers.

Tuesday nights in October saw moderate year-to-year growth for A&E, up 2% compared to October 2011.  STORAGE WARS dominated the primetime lineup on Tuesday nights, and nearly every airing of the show scored above-average numbers.

Wednesdays in September saw more STORAGE WARS and STORAGE WARS TEXAS.  AMERICAN HOGGERS, which was September's lead-out, was replaced in October with DUCK DYNASTY.  While STORAGE scores well above average, numbers couldn't come close to touching DUCK DYNASTY's stellar deliveries - in many cases, more than doubling average for overall HH viewers.  DUCK DYNASTY drove Wednesday nights up strongly in the male demographics, and the night was the strongest of the week for A&E.

Thursday nights in October featured a lineup of A&E's signature crime show THE FIRST 48.  The night was down 4% in overall HH viewers compared to October 2011.  The show itself is showing signs of wear - overall viewers are down 1% compared to last year - however, it is up in younger female demos who might just be catching on to this crime series.  Thursdays remain the youngest-skewing of the week for A&E.

Friday nights in October featured stacked episodes of CRIMINAL MINDS, which was replaced by a DUCK DYNASTY marathon on Friday 10/26.  Lower ratings for CRIMINAL MINDS were balanced out by the strong performance of DUCK DYNASTY, and drove the night up 10% compared to October 2011.

Saturday and Sunday's lineups in September featured STORAGE WARS, PARKING WARS, BILLY THE EXTERMINATOR, and DUCK DYNASTY.   and SHIPPING WARS.  Overall numbers were down both nights compared to October 2011.

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