MARCH 2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:
* Bold denotes programming change
Still moving away from the music programming on which the network was founded, CMT has begun depending more on movies, with the previous 8pm strip of EXTREME MAKEOVER HOME EDITION now replaced by the classic DUKES OF HAZZARD. Original series run on Friday, with Music specials slotted throughout the schedule.
Weekend strategy consists of slotting series and movies interspersed with Comedy and Music specials.
MARCH 2011PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison /March 2011 vs. March 2010 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
After scheduling Prime "off the clock" with most programs starting at some point during the third quarter of the hour in December, CMT returned to starting on the hour and half-hour in January, and has continued this prcatice since.
Movies and Stand-Up Comedy specials dominated the Top 20 programs in March, with Blue Collar stalwart Ron White headlining the two top specials.
The network reacted to the declines in its Friday original productions in February by limiting sitcom WORKING CLASS to just 8pm, while reality series MY BIG REDNECK WEDDING 4 ran 830-11pm. This resulted in modest growth over last month for HH and key demos for this night.
Overall, the network was essentially flat with February, while annual declines continued. DUKES of HAZZARD, while still stripping Monday through Thursday, was mostly absent from Weekend play. While the series occupied 24% of CMT's total Prime in February, it was down to 19% in March.
In a shift from how Nielsen has listed CMT's programming in the past, the ratings from certain Prime Movie telecasts no longer appear under a single COUNTRY MUSIC THEATER umbrella. For March, CMT broke out each of its Prime movie telecasts separately. Based on this practice, Movies occupied 13 of the top 20 in slots for HH delivery for the month, with GRUMPIER OLD MEN the top offering, for the second month in a row.
CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:
The Network could use some series with a longer shelf life. Competition/elimination based formats are fun to watch, but don't have the strength to repeat down the road, something that's increasingly becoming a necessity on this network. The common thread in all of CMT's needs is that they be family-friendly.
In addition to the music fare that was the bedrock of the Network, CMT is looking for sitcoms, comedic reality, adventure-based reality series and original movies.