Comedy Central Analysis



Comedy Central finds its strength in their live-to-tape news programs THE DAILY SHOW and THE COLBERT REPORT. These popular shows premiere just after primetime at 11 and 11:30PM, and primetime timeslot residencies are given to only a handful of lucky contenders.

Weeknights offer consistent blocks of reliable acquisitions like FUTURAMA and ITS ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHA to deliver consistent young adult audiences. These are intermixed with original programming SOUTH PARK and TOSH.0 throughout the week.

Friday nights and weekends offer the young, mostly male audience a variety of stand-up comedy specials, movies, and more repeats of original half hour programming.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison August 2012 vs. August 2011 (% Change)




Monday 8-11pm




Tuesday 8-11pm




Wednesday 8-11pm




Thursday 8-11pm




Friday 8-11pm




Saturday 8-11pm




Sunday 8-11pm




MTWTFSS 8-11pm




Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

The month of August saw another drop in the average ratings for Comedy Central, which hasn’t seen a positive monthly percentage change for the entire year of 2012.

Consistent repeats of reliable and long-running shows dropped the network’s weekly average by 22% in HHLD when compared to August 2011.

Every night showed annual household loss with Fridays and Saturdays having the best  rate with their loss only being in the single digits. In the demos, Sunday was the only night of the week that showed an annual increase with M18-49 being up 7% from last year. This can be attributed to the top telecast of the month, which was the COMEDY CENTRAL ROAST of ROSEANNE.

IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA has been working hard as a support system for Monday nights at Comedy Central. However the night was a 30% household drop from August 2011. The demos also showed a significant decrease from last year with M18-49 and F18-49 dropping 20% and 32% respectively. The difference from July 2012 was much less, but still down 5%.

TOSH.0 has been used as a reliable lead-in to new series WORKAHOLICS in 2011 and this year they asked the same Tuesday night favor for new show THE BURN, which premiered on the 14th. Rating percentages were in the negative 20’s both yearly and monthly across the board with one exception. M18-49 viewers were down a solid 33% from July 2012. TOSH.0 also held 12 of the 20 top telecasts for the month of August.

SOUTH PARK and FUTURAMA hold down the mid-week primetime slots on Wednesdays at Comedy Central. Monthly numbers were only slightly down in households and M18-49 came out to watch, bringing the numbers up 9% from last month. F18-49 were not amused by the two long-running animated programs and stayed down 20% from last month. Yearly differences in both households and the demos were all in the negative high teens.

COMEDY CENTRAL ROAST’S of Donald Trump and Charlie Sheen began the first half of August Thursdays. The second half of the month offered reruns of ITS ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, and SOUTH PARK. The weekly schedule changes seemed to reflect negatively in the ratings since last month. The yearly percentage drop in ratings was a whopping 43% for M18-49 with F18-49 also a significant 32% drop. Thursday programming in August 2011 included repeats of SOUTH PARK and FUTURAMA, with new episodes of UGLY AMERICANS premiering at 10:30. This year the variety of programming caused significant ratings drops both yearly and monthly.

Stand Up Comedy night on Fridays keeps viewers at home to watch the sidesplitting offerings of comics such as Daniel Tosh (led in by himself using TOSH.0 repeats), Aziz Ansari, and Amy Schumer. Trustworthy repeats of TOSH.0 and FUTURAMA lead in to the late 10PM timeslot where these comedians are able to joke freely in the cable network space. M18-49 was down just 5% from last year, but F18-49 was down much more – 24% from August 2011. Monthly demo changes were less drastic and exactly the same. Both demos dropped 10% from July 2012.

Here comes the weekend full of Movies, Specials, Roasts and a handful of viewer favorites TOSH.0 and FUTURAMA. BLADES OF GLORY, YOUTH IN REVOLT, SEMI-PRO, ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO were popular amongst viewers in this month. Saturday nights were still down from July, but only single digits for both households and M18-49. The weekends drew in the ladies and F18-49 jumped up 11% on Saturday night and 30% Sunday night from last month. Sunday night was up across the board from last month with M18-49 jumping up 34%.  Yearly differences showed Saturdays being significantly down from 2011, but Sundays were only 6% down in households. Both demos were just barely positive from 2011, both holding a single digit increase.