E! Analysis - April 2010

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APRIL 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

* Bold denotes programming change

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Even with the cluttered programming on cable on Sunday nights, E! is not afraid to air one of their best originals like  KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS or THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR.  Most of their schedule varies night by night, week to week.  It is rather looked upon as if you are watching the brand, and not appointment viewing. 

This cable network has developed a successful, highly profitable take on the old broadcast network formula -- find and create accessible stars and watch the viewers pour in, but for fractions of the cost of a single episode of a network drama.

APRIL 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / April 2010 vs. April 2009  (% Change)

Yearly % change*   

HH

M18-49

F18-49

P18-49

Monday 8-11pm

20%

25%

43%

17%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-17%

33%

0%

0%

Wednesday 8-11pm

0%

0%

13%

0%

Thursday 8-11pm

20%

33%

29%

20%

Friday 8-11pm

14%

14%

8%

0%

Saturday 8-11pm

33%

17%

57%

29%

Sunday 8-11pm

29%

40%

45%

50%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

17%

0%

38%

14%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Overall, Monday-Sunday primetime averages for ratings, share and delivery were up compared to one year ago, April 2009.  Share was up +17%, and delivery was up +14%.  Women 18-49 were up +38% share overall.  E! has become the destination for the coveted Women 18-34 demo, ranking as the highest rated and most watched cable network on Sundays at 10pm.  (E! press).   In fact, E! delivered another record breaking month of ratings compared to one year ago.  E! delivered its most-watched April in the network's history, averaging 377,000 Total Viewers in Total Day, performing +13% ahead of last year's benchmark mainly because of its hit reality shows and topical programming.    E! also garnered its most-watched April among Total Viewers in Primetime, averaging 572,000 Total Viewers, up +17% over last year.  (E! press).  TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY was up +75% share and the MOVIES WE LOVE franchise was up +80% share from one year ago.

Comparing last month's primetime averages, ratings, share and delivery were on par from last month.  Share fell flat and delivery was down -2%.  Even though averages from a month to month basis declined slightly, the overall month as a whole was way up.  This month there was a more consistent scheduling strategy on a nightly basis.  This month there were stacks of programming blocks that carried over from week to week.  Last month there were two new season/series premieres on Sunday night.  KENDRA, in its second season is delivering its highest ratings to date.  In fact KENDRA continues to deliver to its core Women 18-34 audience.  E!'s newest reality show PRETTY WILD although down in overall demos this month, has proved itself by posting immediate gains for the network. 

Programming that continue to be the staples for the channel include THE SOUP, TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY, E! INVESTIGATES, KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS and ON E! this month.  THE SOUP was up +38% share and posted its most-watch month ever.  TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY was down -13% this month, but one of the focus topics this month was Tiger Woods.  ON E! was up +20% share, while E! INVESTIGATES was also up +25%.  E! News programming overall continues to remain a destination for celebrity and entertainment news, and the backbone for a lot of the network programming schedule.   In fact, E! continues to reign as the destination for topical entertainment news. 

THE MOVIES WE LOVE franchise was up +50% share this month.  Titles worthy of mentioning were:

Evan Almighty, Pride & Prejudice, Legends of the Fall, Dazed and Confused, and Knocked Up.  Some titles dated and repeated more than others, but otherwise all solid theatricals. 

And rounding out the month, E!'s classic tabloid-labeled specials add to the primetime line-up.  This month E! aired Too Young: 15 Crimes, 15 Most Notorious Women, 20 Hollywood Murders and 20 Unsolved Crimes.  Some of these specials are franchises in their own right, and they keep the viewers coming back month after month.  Not a heavily scheduled specials month, but the landscape has changed somewhat for this network, and this month was no exception because it was really about original series programming.

CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:

E! has excelled at creating the next celebrity from scratch through cheaper, unscripted reality TV.  

E!'s formula is to create an alternate universe of reality-based celebrities who have become just as famous as the sitcom and drama stars in network prime-time, but with more impact on E!'s brand and bottom line than any sitcom, medical procedural or legal drama could for broadcast.

A lot of E!'s original reality programming starts with a family or an ensemble piece.  It's not about one person, but rather a group.  As in the case of the KARDASHIANS.  KARDASHIANS allow the E! viewers to vicariously live the fantasy of its stars but also points to specific touchstones that are very relatable to viewers. 

E! has been making the move toward adding original scripted programming into its programming line-up mix.

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