E! Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

It's no secret that the E! universe revolves around the Kardashian franchise.  Nevertheless, the network -- recognizing a need for growth -- has declared that they're currently in the process of building other hits to support their flagship Kardashian series.

E! is now striving for "aspirational, fun, classy and more advertiser-friendly" programming.  While pop-oriented reality remains E!'s bread and butter, the network is striving to cultivate a scripted group of programs.

Above all else E! is concentrating on simultaneously expanding its viewership and  elevating the brand perception of the network.

FEBRUARY 2013 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / February 2013 vs. February 2012  (% Change)

Yearly % change

HH

W18-49

P18-49

W25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-25%

-25%

-25%

-30%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-20%

-25%

0%

-29%

Wednesday 8-11pm

0%

11%

14%

-13%

Thursday 8-11pm

-40%

-29%

-20%

-33%

Friday 8-11pm

0%

-11%

0%

-25%

Saturday 8-11pm

-14%

0%

-13%

13%

Sunday 8-11pm

-25%

-17%

-13%

-20%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-17%

-20%

-14%

-13%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Aside from a few notable standouts, February was a lackluster month for E! overall. The network was down from both a monthly and yearly standpoint among women in both the 18 – 49 and 25 – 54 demos.

The brightest point on E!’s schedule was its LIVE FROM THE RED CARPET Academy Awards pre-show. The network prides itself in being the source for all things fashion when it comes to award season.

Like last year, an impressive number of viewers tuned in to catch the network’s coverage of the pre-Oscar glitz and glamour. Although the ratings were not quite as high as in 2012 (a record year for viewership), LRC was still a major ratings draw. This was particularly true among women 18 – 49. The viewership among this demo trounced all other demo ratings for any show on E!’s February schedule.

Less impressively, KOURTNEY & KIM TAKE MIAMI (which aired a Monday episode in addition to its typical Sunday episodes) took a
considerable dive in the monthly ratings. Following a disappointing third season premiere in January, KOURTNEY was collectively down a further 53% among women 18 – 49 and 25 – 54. To be fair, the steepness of the drop was partially due to a significant increase in reruns. Still, a strict comparison of January vs. February premiere eps still shows a noticeable decline among women.

However, although the show’s popularity may be diminishing, it still ranked strongly in comparison to the rest of E’s schedule. Following the LRC event, KOURTNEY had the five most watched telecasts (two of which were reruns) of the month among women 18 – 49.

Not including movies, the only program that saw month-to-month improvement was FASHION POLICE. The increase in viewership occurred among women 25 – 54 while women 18 – 49 were flat from January. This outlying improvement was thanks in large part to FASHION’S coverage of award season. FASHION’S annual Oscar special fell outside the cutoff date for Nielsen’s supplied February ratings (the special’s performance will be covered in next month’s analysis).

Discounting the Oscar episode, FASHION’S football themed FASHION BOWL (which aired two days before the Super Bowl) was the show’s most watched telecast. FASHION’S first ever Super Bowl tie-in special beat out their usual Emmy and SAG Awards-centric episodes – both of which performed very strongly.

Despite a month-to-month slide, (11% among 18 – 49 and 13% among women 25 – 54), THE SOUP’S ratings were not terribly far behind FASHION’S numbers and the show was one of the network’s stronger performers overall. Wednesdays, which aired THE SOUP, were the only night of the week to show monthly improvement save for Saturday.

Saturday viewership increased thanks to a few well-received movies. In order, Saturday’s top three movies were SEX AND THE CITY, PRIDE & PREJUDICE, and THE WOMEN, and STICK IT.

Whitney Cummings talk show LOVE YOU MEAN IT continued to struggle in its Wednesday night timeslot before ultimately being cancelled. Its scheduled first season finale went unaired.

Finally, CHASING THE SATURDAYS (which aired on Sundays) ended up at the bottom of E!’s rankings. After a poor performance in January, the show was down a further 56% among 18 – 49 women in February.

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