Comedy Central Analysis

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Comedy Central has been successful over the last year with new original programming. KEY & PEELE and BRICKLEBERRY were new additions in 2012, and their popularity predicts that viewers can expect to see future seasons of both. 2013 will continue on this path, and the Monday-Thursday primetime schedule will continue to offer a variety of original series premieres and repeats.

Original series premieres take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, typically during the 10PM hour. Popular veteran series such as SOUTH PARK and TOSH.0 will very often be used as lead-ins to the newbies.

Friday nights and weekends offer the young, mostly male audience a variety of stand-up comedy specials and movies. Occasionally repeats of original half hour programming will be slid into the weekend schedule, most often on Sunday nights.

New original programming in 2013 includes THE JESELNIK OFFENSIVE, THE BEN SHOW, and NATHAN FOR YOU, all set to premiere early in the year.


Live + Same Day Primetime Ratings Comparison March 2013 vs. March 2012 (% 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

Comedy Central continues to skew toward the male demographic with its original comedy series. The target women 18-49 demo also enjoys many of these originals, but tends to tune in more for the weekend movies. The month of March did not offer any new stand-up specials, and this caused weekend numbers to drop. Reliable premieres of TOSH.0 and WORKAHOLICS did their job and kept numbers high on their respective nights, but the rest of primetime in March did not seem to hold up.

Monday’s reliable FUTURAMA and SOUTH PARK lineup held on to steady mid-range numbers for the network, and these did not vary all that much monthly or annually. A 14% annual bump among men 18-49 suggests that this demo appreciates the animated comedies more than last year’s block of IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA.

The Tuesday night lineup included TOSH.0 encores and new episode premiere at 10pm leading into newcomer THE JESLNIK OFFENSIVE. This method worked quite well as ratings for JESELNIK grew each week. This night continues as the highest rated night of the week, so Anthony Jeselnik must be quite happy to be hopping onto the Tuesday night train.

On Wednesdays, KROLL SHOW finished out its first season in the middle of March. The dudes are catching on to this sketch comedy show, and it jumped 48% over last month among men 18-49. It has already been renewed for a second, 10-episode, season, and will return in the Fall. The third season of WORKAHOLICS also finished up in March with some very strong numbers and every premiere episode was among the top twenty individual telecasts for men 18-49.

Brand new comedies THE BEN SHOW and NATHAN FOR YOU tested their legs on Thursday nights this month. These two shows brought low ratings to the network and the night dropped quite a bit from last month’s ALWAYS SUNNY encores. Both of these half hour comedies are starring popular comedians, similar to THE JESELNIK OFFENSIVE. However, without the TOSH.0 lead in, these two newbies have only themselves to rely on to attract new viewers. When compared to numbers of other Comedy Central original series, these two shows came in at the very bottom for the first quarter on 2013. Neither has been renewed for a second season yet.

Friday nights always offer a blend of original comedy repeats, movies, and the occasional stand-up special. This month, the movie The House Bunny brought some strong numbers from women 18-49, and helped that demo show some strong monthly and annual gains. The male demo stayed flat with last month, and a tiny 8% bump over last year.

Weekends held on to the network’s regular schedule of movies, stand-up comedy specials, and the occasional TOSH.0 encore. This month, nothing seemed to hit with viewers, and both nights stayed very low in the numbers and showed significant monthly and annual losses.

April is stand-up comedy month, and new specials (including one from GABRIEL IGLESIAS) may help bump up the weekend numbers. Comedienne Amy Schumer has been making the rounds promoting her new “not suitable for work” comedy show INSIDE AMY SCHUMER, which will premiere on April 30th. The popularity of WORKAHOLICS has gotten more work for one of its stars. Adam Divine has been given an 8-episode season of a stand-up series titled ADAM DIVINE’S HOUSE PARTY.