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.
CMT's 2013 upfront event announced several new projects that will hit the airways this year. As 2012 saw some of the network's highest ratings from rural-themed original programming like MY BIG REDNECK VACATION, the new year's lineup will attempt to continue with that success. DOG AND BETH: ON THE HUNT and GUNTUCKY will premiere in the spring. New series HILLBILLIES FOR HIRE and THE DIRTY SOUTH (from the producers of THE JERSEY SHORE) will launch in the summer and fall respectively. Acquired Fox series, COPS RELOADED, will join the lineup this spring.
An original animated series BOUNTY HUNTERS will expand the network's primetime arsenal. This first-ever animated series for CMT will be voiced by Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, Larry the Cable Guy and Lisa Lampanelli.
Country music won't be forgotten, and a new project starring a recent winner of THE VOICE, Cassadee Pope, is in the works for 2013. A "News & Docs" division will stay current with entertainment news telling in-depth stories through the CMT filter.
All of these programs will beef up their collection of original programming, spread them throughout the week, and surely draw new audiences to the network.
APRIL 2013 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live + Same Day Primetime Ratings Comparison /April 2013 vs. April 2012 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
Hello April! Last month’s analysis reported that March was the “calm before the storm” at CMT, and this month’s numbers have proved that statement true. April saw some dramatic annual gains, mostly among the female 25-54 demo. Thanks to a major primetime schedule shake-up, CMT dug itself out of a four-month streak of annual loss and is finally enjoying some big numbers.
The weekly 8pm resident REBA left the schedule after the first week of April. After this, the Monday – Friday primetime schedule was filled with an assortment of COUNTRY MUSIC THEATER movies, stand-up specials from JEFF DUNHAM and RON WHITE, and original series encores. While REBA consistently rated very well among women 25-54, this demo seemed very pleased with the schedule change, and saw monthly gains three out of five weeknights, and huge annual gains every night!
Mondays saw big annual gains in both male and female demos. This can be thanks to encores of DOG AND BETH: ON THE HUNT and GUNTUCKY on the 22nd (the night after their premieres).
Stand-up specials from RON WHITE and JEFF DUNHAM helped keep Tuesday night numbers up among women. Men 25-54, however, showed annual loss with this new schedule on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
COUNTRY MUSIC THEATER offered some popular movies this month, and helped aid in some monthly gains. Steel Magnolias and Miss Congeniality were big hitters and boosted Wednesday and Thursday night numbers. Women 25-54 saw triple digit annual gains along with healthy monthly gains.
JEFF DUNHAM’s popularity worked very well over at Comedy Central, and here at CMT, he continues to draw very big audiences. Two of his specials that aired on Friday the 12th drew such big numbers that it helped Fridays show very big monthly and annual gains among both men and women 25-54.
MY BIG REDNECK VACATION finished up its third season at the end of April. This show is holding steady and kept Saturdays about even with last year. The night showed double digit monthly loss, which can be attributed to the popular SWAMP PAWN no longer airing new episodes.
Big numbers came around on Sundays when the highly anticipated DOG AND BETH: ON THE HUNT finally premiered on the 14th with a two-hour preview. The following week the show was paired with two half-hour premiere episodes of GUNTUCKY, and proved to be a match made in heaven. Sundays were easily the highest rated night of the week, and helped boost men and women 25-54 demos in a huge way both monthly and annually.
May will most likely continue on this upswing with new episodes of DOG AND BETH: ON THE HUNT and GUNTUCKY. The new schedule will continue with plenty of movies, stand-up specials, and popular acquisitions like COPS RELOADED. Viewers can also look forward to the CMT Music Awards airing on June 5th.