Discovery Performance/Schedule Analysis - May 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of June 26, 2009)

CURRENT AND SIGNATURE PROGRAMS:

AMERICAN LOGGERS (REALITY)
Follows the saga of their business & legacy, their hardship & triumph, the simple joys and tribulations of the everyday, doing what they know and what it takes to survive.
Status: Premiered inFebruary, 2009.  Produced by HalfYard Productions.

DEADLIEST CATCH (NON-FICTION)
Crab fisherman in the Bering Sea and surrounding waters.  Called "the most dangerous job in the world.
Status: Season 5 premiered in April, 2009.  Produced by Original Productions

DESTROYED IN SECONDS (REALITY)
Host, Ron Pitts, will bring you clip after clip of the most shocking destructions captured on film.
Status: Currently airing Season 2.  Produced by Pilgrim Films.

THE DETONATORS (SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY)
Follows two explosive experts, Dr. Braden Lusk and Dr. Paul Worsley, as they meet the blasters behind such structures as urban skyscrapers, massive steel bridges and giant stadiums. The Series gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the demolitions.
Status: Premiered January, 2009.  Produced by RDF USA.

DIRTY JOBS (NON-FICTION)
Dangerous or just plain lousy jobs, host Mike Rowe works right along side all of 'em.
Status; Premiered in 2003, currently in repeats.  Produced by Pilgrim Films.

DOING DAVINCI (REALITY)
New show that will study Davinci's old blueprints, build them and test them out.  Think MYTHBUSTERS investigating Davinci's genius.
Status: Premiered: April, 2009. Produced by Pilgrim Films.

MAN VS. WILD (NON-FICTION)
Adventurer Bear Grylls demonstrates how to survive in various dangerous spots around the world, showing skills that keep him alive and get him out.
Status: Currently airing Season 4.  Produced by Diverse Bristol

MYTHBUSTERS (NON-FICTION)
Is it true?  Or an urban legend?  These two special effects experts take the myths and put them to their own personal and scientific tests.
Status: Season 7 premiered in April, 2009.  Produced by Beyond Productions.

OUT OF THE WILD (REALITY)
Suburbanites are taken to the Alaskan wilderness and expected to find their way back to civilization.
Status: Premiered:  April, 2009 .  Produced by Pilgrim Films & Television.

PITCHMEN (REALITY)
Two ad salesmen ( Billy Mays & Andrew Sullivan) who evaluate products to push on television.
Status: Premiered in April, 2009.  Produced by Original Productions.

PLANET EARTH (DOCUMENTARY)
Blue Chip doc, produced with the BBC, used HD and quality photography to capture the Earth and all its natural wonders and wildlife.
Status: Premiered in April,2007.  Produced by BBC

SHARK WEEK (STUNT)
Annual collection of shark-related one-offs and series episodes.
Status: Summer event; premiering August 2nd this year.

TIME WARP (NON-FICTION)
Using the latest in high-speed photography, the Time Warp team takes some natural events (a cat licking its paw, a champagne bottle being opened) "" and some not-so-natural (a water balloon to the face, a raw piece of chicken exploding) "" and turns them into a thing of both beauty and learning.
Status: Premiered Season 2 in April, 2009. Produced by Creative Differences

TREASURE QUEST (DOCUMENTARY)
Join deepwater explorers Odyssey Marine Exploration as they search for "" and find "" some of the world's greatest shipwrecks and bring the ships' untold stories back from the mysterious deep.
Status: Premiered in 2008.  Produced by JWM Productions

WRECKREATION NATION (REALITY)
Magazine format.  Host Dave Mordal shows off by trying out the many bizarre ways Americans fill their leisure time. Dave travels across the nation participating in everything from an Iowa/Illinois tug of war across the Mississippi River to attending alligator wrestling school in Mosca, CO.
Status: Premiered January 2009.  Produced by True Entertainment.

MAY 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

DEADLIEST CATCH, ALASKA EXPERIMENT, MYTHBUSTERS, PITCHMEN

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Discovery continues with its strategy of Series at 9pm Monday through Friday to anchor each night:  Monday is ONE WAY OUT, Tuesday is DIRTY JOBS, Wednesday is MYTHBUSTERS, Thursday is DESTROYED IN SECONDS, Friday is AMERICAN LOGGERS.  Saturday and Sunday are anthology slots for specials, stacks and one-offs.

UPCOMING PREMIERES:

** June 7 - INSIDE PLANET EARTH
** July 2 - MOMENTS OF IMPACT
** July 12/13 - WILD PACIFIC
** July 21 - THE COLONY
** August 17 - OUT OF EGYPT

MAY 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison:        
May 2009 vs. May 2008 (% change)       
HH    A18-49    A25-54               
Monday 8-11pm        -23%   -33%        -33%               
Tuesday 8-11pm        -8%    -15%         -7%               
Wednesday 8-11pm   23%   33%         29%               
Thursday 8-11pm        5%     21%         19%               
Friday 8-11pm           -23%   -41%        -31%               
Saturday 8-11pm        5%     -3%          6%               
Sunday 8-11pm           2%    -12%         -4%               
MTWTFSS 8-11pm     -4%     -10%        -6%                

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

A tough month all around for the channel.  Every demo and age break was down versus last year.  Adults 18-49 and 25-54 were down 10% and 6% respectively.  Target men were down 10% and 4% in each of the age break demos as well.  Median age was up for the 4th consecutive month, mostly a result of younger viewers leaving.

Star of the schedule once again is DEADLIEST CATCH.  After a record opening last month, the series has settled down to more normal levels.  Nonetheless, it outpaces everything else on the schedule by far with target men.  Notably, it's also the strongest series with women, a dual appeal that has paid off for years.  Premieres on Tuesdays were even better, with Tuesday and Thursday repeats holding their own.  A three day binge of repeats over Memorial Day weekend was fine.

OUT OF THE WILD: ALASKA EXPERIMENT held on to a good portion of the DEADLIEST CATCH lead-in, making it the second highest rated series for men 25-54.  It fared pretty well with women too.  Much like last month, the competition based series showed some improvement in M25-54 over last year, but experienced a significant drop in Men 18-49.  One of the series contributing to the network's overall drop in median age.

PITCHMEN continued to roll on Wednesdays.  Last month we labeled this one a keeper.  It's broad appeal amongst men and women, combined with a wealth of individual stories to tell, led us to believe there were several seasons ahead.  Sadly, the sudden passing of cohost Billy Mays on June 28th changes everything.  As of this update, the network has not announced plans for the remainder of the series.  We'll provide updates as they become available.

MYTHBUSTERS remains alive and well in its 7th season.  A full month of premieres put the long running network anchor near the top of the pack once again.  Audiences were up roughly 15% over last year in every demo. 

BELLY OF THE BEAST and WEAPONIZERS bounced around with some premieres on Mondays, neither of them gaining any traction. 

DOING DAVINCI fell down from its April debut, ending the month well below the network averages.  A month of premieres for TIME WARP drew better than April, but was still below average for the month. 

DIRTYJOBS was double stacked on Thursdays.  The all repeat line-up lost more than 20% from last year.  That's two consecutive months of big drops.  Could use some new episodes at this point.

The last weekend of the month was devoted to three consecutive nights of the original mini-series NATURE'S MOST AMAZING EVENTS.  Total households were on par, but Adults 25-54 were roughly 20% below the network averages.  Running the full series over the first weekend of the summer minimized the impact on the final net averages.   

Looking ahead to June, it's another tough road to show year on year improvement.  If there's a gain to be had, audiences will have to increase over the current May numbers.  We saw it happen 2007.  Maybe again this year?

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

None announced.

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

TREASURE QUEST, AMERICAN LOGGERS, HOW STUFF WORKS, DIRTY JOBS; MAN VS. WILD; STORM CHASERS (10/09)

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

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