Comedy Central Performance/Schedule Analysis - July 2009 - Broadcasting & Cable

Comedy Central Performance/Schedule Analysis - July 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of August 31, 2009)

CURRENT AND SIGNATURE PROGRAMS:


MICHAEL AND MICHAEL HAVE ISSUES (COMEDY)
Best friends Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter are hosts of their own fictitious comedy sketch show.
Status: Premiere Date: July 15th at 10:30pm. Seven episode committment.

TOSH 2.0 (COMEDY)
A weekly series with host/comedian Daniel Tosh.  The mission of TOSH 2.0 is to change the way people think about the internet, with a closer look at blogs, vlogs, tweets and pokes.
Status: Premiere Date: June 4th at 10pm.  Ten episode commitment, airing weekly.


JUNE 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE


SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

The scheduling pattern that generally holds over time: Monday through Friday it's The Daily Show at 8pm, The Colbert Report at 8:30 PM. For the rest of the evening on weekdays things change a bit, as standard non-live production orders typically involve fewer episodes over a given year than Stewart and Colbert deliver, live.

Comedy Central's schedule stands out in nonfiction cable (excluding news/sports networks) because two of its highest-profile franchises, The Daily Show With John Stewart and The Colbert Report, are weekday live productions. Comedy Central's programs are arranged on a grid rare for its dependably predictable pattern -- day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, even year-to-year. These folks surely have some of the strongest appointment viewing numbers in the business. Their audience is also unusually, enviably young "" hovering, on average, around thirty-one years old. That it also skews male should make you imagine the sound of money being printed.


UPCOMING PREMIERES:

**August 9 - COMEDY CENTRAL ROAST OF JOAN RIVERS
**Fall 2009 - NICK SWARDSON

**September 14 - ATOM TV: New episodes  

JULY 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

July 2009 vs June 2008              

HH

M18-49

W18-49

Monday 8-11pm

-14%

-11%

-15%

Tuesday 8-11pm

13%

22%

-3%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-21%

-31%

-25%

Thursday 8-11pm

-29%

-43%

-36%

Friday 8-11pm

36%

26%

32%

Saturday 8-11pm

-3%

-13%

-3%

Sunday 8-11pm

-17%

2%

-35%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-8%

-10%

-16%


*The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

In the wake of Stephen Colbert's Iraq week last month, it was a quiet, if somewhat odd July at Comedy Central. The network was perfectly flat month-to-month in households and variations in key demos were too slight to either warrant worry or justify a round of drinks after work. In the midst of such sleepy, summertime news, a little pick-me-up arrived from the Academy Of Television Arts And Sciences: 14 Emmy nominations, the most ever for the network in a single year. Shows associated with the nominations: THE DAILY SHOW WITH JOHN STEWART, THE COLBERT REPORT, A COLBERT CHRISTMAS, SOUTH PARK, THE SARAH SILVERMAN SHOW and Broadband Primtime nomination.

Back in the red carpet-less land of primetime ratings MICHAEL AND MICHAEL HAVE ISSUES premiered on a Wednesday night halfway through the month. It's an original production where sketch comedy appears within a sitcom, a device that allows the pasting together of otherwise unrelated skits. Its first two episodes, given a 10:30 slot that's pretty valuable on a network with lots of later evening viewing, did not kill. Both weeks it fell significantly off its perpetually powerful SOUTH PARK lead. On the second week it fell further, from a stronger lead, to number well lower than the first week's. It's a tough start for a new series, and it follows the lackluster premier of another original skein in April:  KROD MANDOON AND THE FLAMING SWORD OF FIRE.

Year-to-year numbers, for at least another six months, will likely remain painful reminders of how good a historic election year was to this network. Their two highest profile and highest volume shows, THE DAILY SHOW WITH JOHN STEWART and THE COLBERT REPORT, chased and skewered the power and pundit classes last year, collecting new viewers by the truckload. So, another drop to report: Compared to July 2008, the network's down HH 8%, 10% among younger men and 7% with older men. In households, that's half the yearly loss reported last month. We'll watch in the months ahead to see if this continues to is better.

Standup remains a bread-and-butter schedule staple. Four of the top twenty shows in July were standard stage monologues from star comedians Jeff Dunham, Ron White and Bill Engvall.One of the strongest nights of the month was a Sunday stack of 3 standup hours. Comedy Central's schedulers use these hours to great effect when there are odd holes to fill, as well as nights or slots that need a reliable boost.

If recent series premiers have lacked sparkle there's some weekly star power in the future. The network has licensed five seasons of NBC's 30 ROCK, to begin airing on Comedy Central in 2011. And Will Ferrell's production company, Gary Sanchez Productions, and Debmar-Mercury, have an initial order of ten eps of an untitled sitcom starring Jon Heder, of "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Blades Of Glory" fame. It'll come in a familiar form - multi-camera studio and Ferrell will be among the writers.

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

30 Rock (The network has licensed five seasons of the NBC sitcom, to begin airing Fall, 2011)

Untitled Sitcom (Initial order of ten episodes, starring Jon Heder ("Napoleon Dynamite," "Blades of Glory"), from Gary Sanchez Productions. 2010 premier TBD. Among the writers: Will Ferrell.)

Zack and Miri Make A Porno (Comedy Central has inked a multipicture deal with the Weinstein Co. for the first-window broadcast premiere rights to a trio of films, including first-window rights to "Extreme Movie," "The Hammer" and second-window rights to "Soul Men" and "Who's Your Caddy?")

Harold & Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay. (Comedy paid $4 million for the exclusive network window, which will be available in October 2010. The agreement also includes runs of Be Kind Rewind which was purchased on the back end of the network window for less than $1 million)

Superhero Movie ($2.7 million for the cable rights in September 2010.  The four year deal also includes pre-buys of two other unreleased titles, Fanboys (Dec 2010) and The Promotion (March 2011). Terms of the agreement allow The Weinstein Company to sell runs of the movies to another cable network during a specific window, in addition to selling the films to PayTV outlets prior to becoming available to Comedy Central)


PROGRAM RENEWALS:

LEWIS BLACK: THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL (season #2)

RENO 911! (season #6, 10 additional episodes ordered)

IMPORTANT THINGS WITH DEMETRI MARTIN (second pick-up)

THE SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM (season #3, 10 episodes, premiering 1st quarter 2010)

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

CHOCOLATE NEWS

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