Comedy Central Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

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.

OCTOBER 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

M18-49

W18-49

Monday 8-11pm

-7%

-18%

-5%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-21%

-28%

-21%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-19%

-14%

-18%

Thursday 8-11pm

-15%

-23%

-7%

Friday 8-11pm

0%

7%

5%

Saturday 8-11pm

-2%

6%

13%

Sunday 8-11pm

41%

33%

52%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-6%

-9%

0%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

In October, Comedy Central tightened up their primetime schedule by delivering a much more consistent lineup for each weeknight than it had in September. There were only a handful of times in which shows deviated from the timeslot it was given at the start of the month. Ratings were much better this month, and this consistency, along with a popular JEFF DUNHAM stand-up special could have helped with this bump.

Animation dominated Monday nights as we lost ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA and said hello to a steady schedule of FUTURAMA, SOUTH PARK, and BRICKLEBERRY. The night was most popular with men 18-49, who seemed more pleased with this lineup than last month’s.

Tuesday was the only weeknight that kept the same exact schedule from September, offering a two-hour block of TOSH.0 bookended by WORKAHOLICS at 8PM and premiere episodes of BRICKLEBERRY at 10:30PM. TOSH.0 continues to be one of the most popular shows for the network, holding six of the Top 20 individual telecasts for the month. Even though the schedule stayed consistent with September, the monthly average increased by more than 30% in both male and female demos. However the annual loss was more than 20% down across the board.

October brought viewers new episodes of SOUTH PARK on Wednesdays, something they haven’t had since the spring, and this proved very popular among men 18-49. The night boasted a 51% monthly increase in that demo, and the annual loss got slightly better, down only 14%. The night also offered new episodes of sketch comedy show KEY & PEELE, and the episode that aired on the 10th actually made it into the Top 20 individual telecasts for the month.

On Thursdays this month, the network shook things up by airing stand-up specials in place of its usual schedule of repeat episodes of original programming. The annual loss was still significant, however the specials were more popular among women 18-49 this month and this demo was up 47% from September.

Fridays showed a very slight annual increase with both demos being up in the single digits from October of 2011. The night removed movies and specials from last month and kept a slightly more consistent schedule with repeat episodes of popular original programming. This change kept the male demo quite happy, but women 18-49 was down 15% from September.

Weekends in October did very well for Comedy Central by offering a variety of stand-up specials and popular movies. This month, both nights showed big increases across the board, the most significant being women 18-49 on Sundays, which jumped up 74%. Both nights showed annual increases in both male and female demos. Along with Fridays, this is the first time the network has seen a positive annual change all year.

The most popular special this month was JEFF DUNHAM: MINDING THE MONSTERS. According to Comedy Central, his specials have been the highest rated programming in the network’s history.

November will continue to offer new episodes of popular original programming and viewers can look forward to new episodes of WORKAHOLICS starting in 2013.

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