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

A&E Performance/Schedule Analysis - September 2008

Author:
Publish date:

PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of October 19, 2008)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

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

SEPTEMBER 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

INTERVENTION, DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER, THE FIRST 48,  THE CLEANER, PARANORMAL STATE

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:

AUGUST to SEPTEMBER:

Thursday - Back to back episodes of JACKED move into the 10pm block

Friday - Repeats of original drama THE CLEANER are pulled in favor of another exhibition of CSI: MIAMI

Saturday - Movie nights are gone, replaced by two runs of CSI: MIAMI and old episodes of SOPRANOS

Sunday - reality series take a break; a three hour mini-stack of CSI: MIAMI takes over

PREMIERES:

None announced

OCTOBER AND BEYOND

PREMIERES:

** October 21st - THE ROOKIES
** December 9th - MANHUNTERS: FUGITIVE TASK FORCE


YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

The big picture looks good.  Network's own press touts this 3rd quarter as a record adults 18-34, 18-49, and 25-54, led by their original drama THE CLEANER and a revived slate of reality programming.  September marks the 5th consecutive month of year on year growth in the adults 18-49 and 25-54.  Expect that trend to continue versus a fairly weak 4th quarter last year. 

One cautionary note.  The revamped schedule now has stacks of CSI: MIAMI on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays, a result of not enough solid programming to round out the full week.  The series skews far older than anything on the net making it a weak promotional platform for the better rated reality fare.  Can probably get away with it for a few weeks, but anything longer than a two months and the channel risks losing the momentum it's worked so hard to build.


SEPTEMBER 2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Mondays slipped a bit from last month, but it's still one of the top raters of the week.  Compared to last year's older skewing dramas, the reality line-up led by INTERVENTION increased the younger demos by 46% and 23% for A18-49 and A25-54 respectively.  Following it's lead-in PARANORMAL STATE is fading a bit, but remains a solid performer for the night.

Tuesday becomes the top rated night of the week.  Every key demo is up considerably from last year, particularly the women again.  FIRST 48 has settled comfortably into its new night, and is drawing the best numbers on the network.  With repeats no less.  THE CLEANER has bounced back nicely from the Olympics hiatus as premieres of the original drama lock down the 10pm slot in strong fashion.

Wednesdays in general are fine, but the stronger male skew could become problematic soon.  Men were up significantly this month courtesy of DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER volume and the skew of CRISS ANGEL.  However, women down slightly, something to note for the future.  Considering a move for CRISS ANGEL based on its primary skew towards men is warranted.  If not another night, maybe off the network?

Thursdays are flat to down from year ago.  Couple of repeats of FIRST 48 are fine as usual.  Problems arise with the new series, JACKED, at 10pm.  Focusing a car theft task force, the show is much more testosterone laden and less character driven than FIRST 48.  Yes, they both reside in the same broad genre, but the subtle difference is enough to chase away women by the end of the night.  JACKED ends the month as the second worst rated series on the schedule.

On Friday, they finally dropped repeats of THE CLEANER from the schedule.  Good for the night, not so good for the original drama.  Needs to work beyond the premieres.  So the night goes back to a full slate of CSI: MIAMI and lands right at the network averages for the month. 

Saturdays saw some serious growth for the first time in a long time as the MOW got knocked in favor of even more CSI: MIAMI.  SOPRANOS brings up the rear at 10pm.  Tony and company are the lowest rated fare on the network by far.  We can only assume it's still around to justify the massive cost of purchase.

GENE SIMMONS was given a much needed vacation on Sundays.   Filling in for Gene and the gang are that old stand-by, CSI: MIAMI again.  Numbers are up considerably after the move which is the good news.  The bad news is that three days of CSI can't be good long term.  Too much of a reliance on the off net drama for our tastes.   More reality product in the pipeline would be the better solution. 


PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

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

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

THE CLEANER (2009)

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

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

Related