A&E Performance/Schedule Analysis - August 2008 - Broadcasting & Cable

A&E Performance/Schedule Analysis - August 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of September 22, 2008)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Strongest demo is P25-54, with a female skew for most programs.

AUGUST 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

INTERVENTION, DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER, CRISS ANGEL MINDFREAK, THE FIRST 48, JACKED

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Beginning in September, 2006, the network introduced a strip of their new acquisition, CSI MIAMI, running Monday to Friday at 8PM. The strip is followed by stacks of their Real Life series SOPRANOS on Mondays and Wednesdays, and another block of CSI MIAMI on Fridays. A mix of series fills weekend prime. With the introduction of the 8PM strip, the schedule is now comprised entirely of series programming, with no anthology slots for single hours and specials. New projects tend to enter the schedule as the current reality series end their premiere runs. New series retain the vertical blocks at either 8P or 10P, maximizing the audience flow established throughout the schedule.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

JULY to AUGUST:

Monday - PARANORMAL STATE returns ot the schedule at 10pm, supplanting PSYCHIC KIDS in the timeslot

Wednesday - repeats of DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER takeover from FIRST 48 at 8pm, creating a two hour block for the crime fighting series

PREMIERES:

** August 21st - JACKED-AUTO THEFT TASK FORCE

SEPTEMBER AND BEYOND

PREMIERES:

** October 21st - THE ROOKIES


YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

August presents a tale of two networks.  First half of the week is great.  Thursday is OK.  Back half of the week struggles mightily.  Net result is a slight increase year to year, not all that bad when the Olympics are factored in.  Adults 18-49 and 25-54 are up 2-4% from last August.  If they can maintain some of the building blocks Monday-Thursday, and make some improvements on the weekend, things are looking good right now.  


AUGUST
2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Mondays were phenomenal.  Every demo break is up massively from last year.  Women were up an incredible 90% or more.  INTERVENTION remains the star and is moving into bona fide hit territory.  Even the Olympics couldn't slow it down.  10pm lead-out PARANORMAL STATE returns to the schedule as the beneficiary, holding a good portion of that lead-in.  PARANORMAL didn't hold up quite as well with the Olympics, but not too worry.

Good move pushing the premiere of THE FIRST 48 from Thursday to Tuesdays.  FIRST 48 continues to a reliable performer in the schedule.  More important, it's providing a very nice lead-in for the original drama THE CLEANER.  Ratings for the latter are holding up quite well, especially with the target female 25-54 demo.  Expect a renewal announcement at some point. 

Wednesday's reality series showed solid growth over last year's scripted dramas.  DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER expanded to a full two hour block.  That didn't take long.  Guess his exile is long forgotten at this point.  Drawing the second highest ratings in the target demo will do that.  CRISS ANGEL followed suit at 10pm, although there were some warning signs.  Give the guy a break for the Olympics, but we'll keep an eye on it next month.

Thursdays begin the part of the week where the slide begins.  The night is down just a bit from last year, but mirrors the network averages in raw delivery.  Let's call it holding serve.  New series JACKED premiered, against the Olympics no less, witih mixed results.  Focusing a car theft task force, the series skews more female than we would have imagined, probably a result of THE FIRST 48 lead-in.  In an unusual switch, its post-Olympics week was actually just a tad lower than its debut.

Friday starts off the more challenged half of the week.  Numbers are down 20-25% across the board.  CSI MIAMI is off from last year as the series tires out.  More importantly, repeats of THE CLEANER just tanked at 10pm.  The older skewing lead-in and the lower HUT night puts the series at a disadvantage compared to its premiere home on Tuesday.  Checking last year, INTERVENTION didn't seem to fare so well on Friday either, but look at what the move to Monday has done for it.  Time slot and lead-in.  So important.

Saturdays are the cellar dweller once again.  They'll figure it out someday.

Sundays fall close to 40% in some of the demos.  Thankfully, THE TWO COREYS finished their run.  Don't look for a renewal announcement on that one.  Otherwise, it was all GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS, all the time.  It's a great series with some fun talent and stories, but asking it to hold down the entire night with repeats is too much.  Get the guy some help.  Demos were always solid on premieres, and the repeats held up as long as they weren't abused.  We're hoping for a 4th season renewal.


PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

CRIMINAL MINDS - acquired exclusive cable rights beginning 9/09; began airing weekly in May, 2008;

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

None announced

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

SELL THIS HOUSE!, COLD CASE FILES, PRIVATE SESSIONS, AMERICAN JUSTICE, THE SOPRANOS, CROSSING JORDAN

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