JUNE 2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:
* Bold denotes programming change
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 HOLLY'S WORLD. 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.
June 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / June 2011 vs. June 2010 (% Change)
Yearly % change*
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
With the exception of a few programs, E!'s ratings this July were spectacularly underwhelming. Even E!'s press release - which generally manages to spin weak numbers into gold - could only muster positives for two shows: KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS and ICE LOVES COCO.
Yearly numbers were down across the board and monthly numbers were flat at best - a continuation of an anemic June. Sunday nights - which featured new episodes of KARDASHIANS and COCO - were perched far above the rest of the week. As evidenced by E!'s sparse press release, the network was completely dependent on the two shows. In fact, 18 of E!'s top 20 telecasts were either premiere or rerun episodes of KARDASHIAN and COCO.
While KARDASHIANS draws the largest male crowd of any E! program (by single telecast), it remains highly female skewing. The July 17th episode of the show achieved phenomenal numbers among women, gaining the best ratings of the sixth season. The other three new July episodes all fared better than the entirety of E!s programming as well.
ICE LOVES COCO took its KARDASHIAN lead-in and made the most of it - delivering the second best ratings of the month. Like KARDASHIAN (and all of E!) COCO has a highly feminine skew. There appears to be a correlation between the success of the two shows: like KARDASHIAN, COCO enjoyed its best showing on the 17th. Likewise, each shows had their "worst" premiere ratings on the 10th. This suggests that much of COCO's audience is residual KARDASHIAN watchers.
Following July's two clear-cut winners, THE SOUP and FASHION POLICE managed to pull in a decent audience. Both shows aired on Friday nights, garnering the network's best primetime numbers behind Sundays. In fact, POLICE was technically E!'s highest rated program in July (although this factoid is misleading considering the show only aired three telecasts.) While women were far more interested in Joan Rivers' take on fashion, men also found themselves tuning in on Friday night. Only THE SOUP hauled in more male viewers.
The remainder of the primetime schedule was unremarkable save for TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY. HOLLYWOOD was up 40% from last year and found a fair female audience. The rest of the schedule, comprised of shows such as SEX AND THE CITY and KHLOE & LAMAR, was a flop.
CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:
E! and Virgin Produced, the newly minted production arm of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group, have forged a multiyear first-look development deal in which E! will have exclusive rights to all Virgin Produced reality series development. Virgin Produced serves as the film and television development, packaging and production arm of the Virgin Group.
E! has excelled at creating the next celebrity from scratch through cheaper, unscripted reality TV and its formula 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.