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Comedy Central Analysis - Broadcasting & Cable

Comedy Central Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

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.

APRIL 2013 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live + Same Day Primetime Ratings Comparison April 2013 vs. April 2012 (% Change)

HH

M18-49

W18-49

Monday 8-11pm

-7%

-6%

-23%

Tuesday 8-11pm

0%

24%

-6%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-35%

-40%

-33%

Thursday 8-11pm

-26%

-7%

-36%

Friday 8-11pm

2%

8%

-4%

Saturday 8-11pm

-12%

-19%

16%

Sunday 8-11pm

18%

26%

20%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-9%

-4%

-7%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

The annual loss continues in April at Comedy Central, but only by single-digits this month. April saw big monthly gains on the weekends thanks to it being “Stand-Up Month” and offering a slew of new specials from popular comedians. Brand new specials from Gabriel Iglesias were among the top rated programs for women, while TOSH.0 continues to rate highest among men 18-49. Premiere episodes of TOSH.0 and THE JESELNIK OFFENSIVE continued throughout April, and were all among the top rated programs of the month.

Mondays and Wednesdays showed no change in their schedules from last month. Blocks of original and acquired half hour programming fill primetime on these nights, and both showed monthly and annual loss. Mondays have been dedicated to half hour animated comedies SOUTH PARK and FUTURAMA. Both of these skew towards the male demographic, but did not pull as strong numbers this month. Wednesdays also offer plenty of SOUTH PARK paired with CHAPPELLES SHOW, and now that the third season of WORKAHOLICS has ended, encores have not been pulling strong audiences, and this night saw dramatic losses both monthly and annually.

Tuesday nights bring the biggest ratings from the male 18-49 demo. This demo just can’t get enough TOSH.0, which continues its fifth season through May. The night still showed a very slight monthly loss, but the annual gain among men was significant. This gain can also be attributed to newcomer THE JESELNIK OFFENSIVE. This show is quickly gaining traction and three out of four episodes were among the top ten telecasts for the male demo. It has been renewed for a second season and will be returning in July.

Thursdays and Fridays bring the lowest ratings to Comedy Central. In April, new original series’ THE BEN SHOW and NATHAN FOR YOU continued to draw mediocre audiences on Thursday nights. Encores of TOSH.0 pull the strongest ratings this night, which stayed about flat with last month. Fridays saw a tiny annual boost among men 18-49 thanks (once again) to TOSH.0 encores and the Gabriel Iglesias comedy special.

Weekends saw a slight rise in numbers, on Sundays mostly. As usual, weekends in April were chock full of movies, stand-up specials, and a handful of half hour comedy encores tossed into the mix. The best numbers came from Gabriel Iglesias, whose specials premiered on the 14th and brought some very big audiences. Jeff Dunham and Amy Schumer specials also saw good numbers. Overall, both nights experienced very significant monthly gains, not surprising since the weekend schedule in March contained no new comedy specials.

In May, new original series INSIDE AMY SHUMER is sure to make a splash and possibly draw in some female viewers. A new stand-up special from Pete Holmes will premiere on the 10th. And despite the numbers, NATHAN FOR YOU has been renewed for a second season and will be returning in 2014.

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