CMT is turning Country Music into a lifestyle by developing reality shows based around rural-America and male-targeted themes (sports, rednecks, the South). While music remains the theme for movies and specials, the network has recently enjoyed success with original reality series such as MY BIG REDNECK VACATION and SWAMP PAWN.
The sitcom REBA is the network’s go-to acquisition and occupies the 8PM timeslot every weekday. The popularity of this sitcom helps draw viewers to original series repeats that air throughout the week.
Premiere episodes of these original series are dedicated to Friday and Saturday nights. Saturdays have been home to most of the rural-America themed series such as BAYOU BILLIONAIRES and REDNECK ISLAND while competition shows (DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS) air on Fridays.
JANUARY 2013 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison /January 2013 vs. January 2012 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
With only one night containing original series premieres this month, January ratings were mediocre at CMT. The varied schedule and sporadic original series repeats, along with some from partner networks, resulted in the month staying flat with December’s numbers. However, the annual loss was in the double-digit range.
REBA continues as one of the network’s top rated programs. This acquisition that holds a steady residency every weekday from 8-9PM draws consistent viewers, mostly among women. Male-skewed movies and original series that follow tend to create a shift in numbers, when the network loses among women demos, and gains men.
Monday nights typically bring middle ground ratings to CMT. This month saw strong numbers during the 8PM REBA hour, but a varied schedule of series repeats lost some viewers at 9PM. One exception on the 14th when CMT aired a block of BAR RESCUE (original Spike TV series) held on to some strong numbers among men 25-54. This night ended up showing solid gains both monthly and annually.
Tuesday nights told a similar story and showed monthly gains due to some big numbers from a full night of REBA on New Year’s Day, and the movie Blue Collar Comedy: One For The Road on the 8th. Annual changes were irregular and the only gain was slightly among women 25-54.
A handful of EXTREME MAKEOVER HOME EDITION episodes paired up with REBA drew stronger numbers among women 25-54 on Wednesday nights. Overall, the night showed significant loss both monthly and annually. The only exception was among the aforementioned demo, which remained flat with last month.
The end of the workweek closely resembled Wednesdays. Ratings were slightly stronger among women 25-54, and every category showed monthly and annual loss. On Saturdays things turned around considerably when repeat episodes of REDNECK ISLAND drew strong numbers on the 5th among both men and women. On the 26th the network enjoyed it’s best night of the month when it aired the season 3 premiere of MY BIG REDNECK VACATION (top telecast of the month) and the series premiere of SWAMP PAWN. These two were big hitters at the end of January, hinting toward some better numbers in February.
Sunday nights offered a couple nights full of REBA and a couple other nights with blocks of series borrowed from other networks. The biggest standout was the 27th, which aired a block of the MTV original reality series RIDICULOUSNESS, which drew the best numbers on Sunday nights. Several of these episodes also landed among the top twenty telecasts of the month.
In February CMT will continue with new episodes of SWAMP PAWN and MY BIG REDNECK VACATION. Based on the popularity the premieres received in January, these shows will hopefully push CMT towards an upswing.