In the primetime lineup, original reality series run every night of the week, with themes on a nightly basis. Mondays in April featured fast cars and bikes with FAST N LOUD, DEVILS RIDE, OVERHAULIN', and TEXAS CAR WARS. Tuesdays in April featured DEADLIEST CATCH and newcomer BACKYARD OIL. Wednesdays in March featured a mix of programs, while Thursdays was mostly AUCTION KINGS. More originals on Friday with YUKON MEN, SONS OF GUNS, and BLADE BROTHERS. Saturday saw a variety of programming, and Sundays finished off the week with a primetime lineup anchored by NAKED CASTAWAY.
APRIL 2013 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live + SD Primetime Ratings Comparison / April 2013 vs. April 2012 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
April 2013 was somewhat of a tough month for Discovery, which continues to have to contend with major competition from the other cable networks in the male space. As more competitors enter Discovery's traditionally male-skewing adventure space, there's more competition for programs and for viewers than ever before. April's primetime lineup was an interesting one, and ratings night to night varied widely.
April saw the debut of new original series POT COPS on 4/3, NAKED CASTAWAY on 4/14, and BACKYARD OIL on 4/23. POT COPS aired as part of the "Weed Wednesday" lineup early in the month, and then it was gone from the schedule, replaced with FAST N LOUD, which scored significantly better than POT COPS DID in the following week. The night was down 38% compared to last year, and Wednesday nights were one of the weakest of the week for Discovery.
NAKED CASTAWAY, which premiered on 4/14, anchored the Sunday night primetime lineup in April. Though the night was down compared to last year, the show performed just around average in its debut, but climbed later in the month.
BACKYARD OIL hit the air on Tuesday, 4/23, leading out of DEADLIEST CATCH. Tuesday nights were the strongest of the week - by a significant margin - during the month of April, and the night was up across the board compared to Tuesdays in April 2012. Despite losing almost a third of viewers from DEADLIEST CATCH, BACKYARD OIL scored significantly above average.
Strong year-to-year gains on Fridays were driven by solid performances of YUKON MEN and SONS OF GUNS. The traditionally Alaskan-themed night was the second strongest of the week for the network.
Monday nights were down compared to last year. Following the strong performance of the finale of FAST N LOUD on April 1, the automotive-themed lineup struggled to gain traction throughout the rest of the month. Thursdays were also down from last year, with re-airs of AUCTION KINGS, PROPERTY WARS, and a variety of other programs hovering below average through most of the month.
In the remained of 2013, Discovery is poised to regain some traction with a diverse and compelling programming slate. Figuring out what genres stick and which won't will be the biggest challenge in the new year, as is differentiating itself from its competitors in the cable landscape.