A&E Performance/Schedule Analysis - June 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of June 20, 2009)

CURRENT AND SIGNATURE PROGRAMS:

THE CLEANER (DRAMA)
After hitting rock bottom due to his own addictions, William "The Cleaner" Banks, works with a team to help others kick their additions to sex, drugs, alcohol, and gambling.  Starring Benjamin Bratt.
Status: Premiered Season 2 in June, 2009.

CRISS ANGEL MINDFREAK (NON-FICTION)
Criss Angel demonstrates his visionary approach to magic "that escapes the confines of tradition and gives birth to a new breed of modern mysticism." Often referred to as "the new Houdini," Criss Angel's talents include hypnosis, illusion and escape. Episodes include demonstrations of Criss's skills; behind-the-scenes peeks into and how he pulls off his tricks, with help from his crew; and visits from celebrity friends who willingly participate in his "antics." 
Status: On hiatus.  Produced by Angel Productions

CSI MIAMI:  This fast-paced forensics drama, inspired by the top-rated series CSI:  CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, revolves around a South Florida team of forensic investigators who use both cutting-edge scientific methods and old-fashioned police work to solve crimes. 
Status: Off network acquisition

DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER
This reality series follows the real-life exploits of an expert bounty hunter, Duane "Dog"  Chapman, as he and his posse - including sons Leland and Duane Lee - risk their necks to capture fugitives.
Status: Currently airing Season 4.  Produced by Hybrid Films.

THE EXTERMINATORS (REALITY)
A Louisiana family operates a pest business, specializing in everyday bugs and larger scale invaders, such as alligators, snakes, and even bobcats.
Status: Premiered in February. 13x30.  Produced by September Films USA

THE FIRST 48
This investigative series follows detectives from around the country during these first critical hours as they race against time to find the suspect.  Gritty and fast-paced, it takes viewers behind the scenes of real-life investigations with unprecedented access to crime scenes, autopsies, forensic processing, and interrogations.
Status: Currently airing Season 9.  Producedy by ITV Studios.

GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS (NON-FICTION ENTERTAINMENT)
The day-to-day lives of Simmons, his significant other, and former Playboy Playmate Shannon Tweed, and their two kids as they balance fame with the simple home life.
Status: Premiered Season 4 in June, 2009.  Produced by Grief & Company.

INTERVENTION
This documentary series profiles addicts from all walks of life; audiences watch as friends and families hold an intervention, which they feel is the only option to getting over the addiction.
Status: Currently airing Season 7.  Produced by by GRB Entertainment

MANHUNTERS: FUGITIVE TASK FORCE
A midtown Manhattan federal agency joins with state and local authorities to track down dangerous felons on the lam in the New York City area.
Status: Season 1 completed in May, 2009. Produced by Stars & Stripes Media.

OBSESSED (REALITY)
A look into the world of anxiety disorders while offering those who suffer a path to recovery.  Chronicles individuals with OCD, panic disorder, and other phobias.
Status: Premiered May, 2009. 11x60.  Produced by Tijuana Entertainment

PARANORMAL STATE
Series focuses on a research society based at Penn State which studies, and in some cases, debunks various paranormal phenomena.
Status: Completed Season 3 in May, 2009.  Produced by Go Go Luckey Productions.

TATTOO HIGHWAY (REALITY)
Thomas Pendelton and wife travel the Southwest tattooing people on a tour bus/mobile tattoo parlor.
Status: Premiered in May, 2009.  13x30.  Produced by Juma Entertainment

MAY 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

OBSESSED, TATTOO HIGHWAY, PARANORMAL STATE, INTERVENTION, DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER, CRIME 360, THE EXTERMINATORS

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

The network's scheduling approach appears to break the week into two parts:  Monday-Thursday, and the weekend.  In both instances, it's all about stacking themes or singular series throughout the night. 

Monday-Thursday is dominated by reality based series, mostly within the crime and justice category.  Signature series INTERVENTION, DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER, and FIRST 48 anchor the evenings, more often than not, in the form of two hour blocks.  The 10pm timeslots feature a rotating mix of real life and reality series that include crime, pop culture, celeb-reality, and paranormal.  Most of the series tend to be half hours scheduled back to back to fill the slot. 

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday have been all CSI: MIAMI, all the time for the last few months, with a few exceptions.  The traditional Friday home was expanded to Sundays as reality repeats faded out.  Saturdays had been real estate and DIY, then theatrical features, and finally more CSI: MIAMI with a SOPRANOS thrown in for good measure. 

UPCOMING PREMIERES:

** June 7 - GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS (Season 4)
** June 14 - HAMMERTIME
** June 16 - THE FIRST 48 (Season 9)
** June 23 - THE CLEANER (Season 2)
** August 17 - HOARDERS

MAY 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison: 
May 2009 vs. May 2008  (% Change)

HH          A18-49 A25-54
Monday 8-11pm               10%             14%          27%
Tuesday 8-11pm              18%             -3%         -  4%
Wednesday 8-11pm         -8%             50%          28%        
Thursday 8-11pm              7%              -8%        -   7%     
Friday 8-11pm                 -12%            -24%       - 29%        
Saturday 8-11pm              15%             -7%            3%
Sunday 8-11pm                23%             -4%         -  2%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm           6%               2%             2%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Good news is that May was up over last year, if just slightly.  Not so encouraging is our sense that it could have and should have been much better.  Last year's numbers were significantly depressed with the absence of DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER.  This year, with DOG back in the fold, Wednesdays numbers almost doubled up on last year, compensating for losses elsewhere in the schedule.  Ultimately, Men were up 5%, women were flat, and target adults were up just 2% from 2008. 

Last year, June kicked off a really solid summer run.  This year's line-up calls for several new and returning series.  If just one of the new properties can click, the year on year comparisons could be promising. 

Two of those summer series debuted near the end of the month, both were very solid results.  On Memorial Day, OBSESSED took over the coveted lead-out slot from INTERVENTION.  The results were fantastic.  The premiere turned out to be the highest rated program for women on the network, by far.  The only program that came close was the INTERVENTION episode that served as the lead-in.  Editorially, the flow from one to the other was seamless.  Great way to start the summer.

TATTOO HIGHWAY was the second series to get off to a good start.  Younger women in particular turned out strong for the series, holding up well across the two episodes.  Men were above the network average as well, although their numbers dropped off measurably in the second half hour.  With just the one week on the books, this looks to be one series to count on for the younger demos, especially with women.

Shifting to returning series, PARANORMAL STATE wrapped up another season well ahead of the network averages.  INTERVENTION, even with a month of repeats, continues to be a strong performer in the Monday 9pm slot.  The 8pm block isn't faring as well, probably a combination of habit and the warm weather. 

FIRST 48 might be showing some fatigue.  Holding down two entire nights with no premieres in sight left it below net average for the month for the first time in quite some time.  CRIME 360 returned in the last two weeks of the month with a new season, offering some relief for FIRST 48.  Total audiences were quite strong, but target demos tailed off a bit. 

EXTERMINATORS finished up a grand first season, coming out of nowhere to become the quiet star on the schedule.  DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER just keeps trucking along, premieres and repeats.

No change on the CSI MIAMI front.  Big households, older demos, tough time finding any younger demos.  A18-49 and A25-54 were down 15-20% from last year.  Friday-Sunday could use some updating soon.


PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

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

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

THE CLEANER (6/09); FIRST 48 (6/09); GENE SIMMONS (6/09); CRISS ANGEL MINDFREAK; PARANORMAL STATE; MANHUNTERS; PARKING WARS;

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced

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