Food Network Performance/Schedule Analysis - July 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of August 25, 2008)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

P 25-54, F 25-54, F 18-49

JULY 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR 4, IRON CHEF AMERICA, DINERS DRIVE-INS & DIVES, HOW'D THAT GET ON MY PLATE, ACE OF CAKES, DINNER IMPOSSIBLE, FOOD NETWORK CHALLENGE, UNWRAPPED, FOOD NETWORK 4-PACK, THROWDOWN WITH BOBBY FLAY

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Food Network has an overall consistent schedule; the audience can be confident in the fact that the top shows for the most part will not be moved from their usual time slots.  The exceptions are marathon weeks where either one original show is aired repeatedly across the week, and theme weeks where special episodes of original series around one theme (Christmas, summer grilling, etc.).  Here are the consistencies in Food Network's schedule:  GOOD EATS is stripped at 8pm Monday thru Friday.  Monday is home to Food Network's documentary series including SECRET LIFE OF..., HEAVYWEIGHTS and UNWRAPPED.  Tuesday's line-up has a decidedly male feel, with GOOD EATS and THROWDOWN WITH BOBBY FLAY each getting back-to-back hours. FOOD NETWORK CHALLENGE is the highlight of Wednesday night's line-up, followed by 2 eps of DINNER IMPOSSIBLE.  ACE OF CAKES premiere eps are found on Thursdays, and Friday is home to Paula Deen, Rachael Ray, and Guy Fieri.  Saturday is where you'll find the often-seasonal NETWORK SPECIALS, and Sunday is all about competitions: FOOD NETWORK CHALLENGE, IRON CHEF AMERICA and THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

JUNE - JULY 2008:

PREMIERES:

**HOW'D THAT GET ON MY PLATE - Monday July 7, 9:30pm.
**ROAD TASTED WITH THE NEELYS - Tuesday July 22, 9:30pm.

UNWRAPPED moves from 9:30 to 8:30 Mondays, replacing HEAVYWEIGHTS.  HOW'D THAT GET ON MY PLATE takes over for UNWRAPPED.

ROAD TASTED WITH THE NEELYS takes over for THROWDOWN at 9:30pm Tuesdays.

A second episode of ACE OF CAKES replaces A COOK'S TOUR at 9:30pm Tuesdays.

AUGUST AND BEYOND:

PREMIERES:

**DINNER: IMPOSSIBLE with Michael Symon - Aug. 20, 2008, at 10pm.
**Untitled project from winner of THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR Season 4 - Aug. 2, 2008, at 1:30pm.
**ASK AIDA - Aug. 2, 2008, at 12:30pm.
**THE COOKING LOFT - Aug. 30, 2008, at 9:30am.

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

Food Network is steady on its path of year-to-year growth across the board.  Male viewers continue to help grow the network in 2008, but the biggest gains are in 18-49 viewers.  Mondays in particular are enjoying a growth spurt, thanks to the night being an entry for successful shows such as DINERS DRIVE-INS & DIVES.  Conversely, Friday's numbers are down from last year, mostly due to loss of viewership for both RACHAEL RAY TASTY TRAVELS and PAULA'S PARTY.  It's the core female demos who are taking the biggest hits.

JULY 2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Summer continues to be a really strong season for Food Network.  The female demos see the most growth from June.  While Sunday nights continue to go strong, Fridays and Saturdays are starting to trail behind.  That's not necessarily bad news, given that many people travel over their Summer weekends.

New series HOW'D THAT GET ON MY PLATE comes into the Monday schedule and is off to a really strong start, having broken into the top program ranking right away.  While HEAVYWEIGHTS has been growing over its short life on the Monday schedule, this new series is showing much more promising signs in comparison.

ROAD TASTED WITH THE NEELYS premiered on Tuesday the 22nd and lost viewers from lead-out THROWDOWN, but with the strength of this talent duo and the high volume of on-air and off-air promotion for the show, we can expect stronger performance going forward.

Further beefing up its growth streak, the addition of another episode of ACE OF CAKES on Tuesday helps the show grow in all demos over June.  Male viewers can be credited as being the driving force.  The show continues to go strong in its Thursday slots as well.

Friday nights are slipping, and as mentioned earlier, the culprits seem to be Rachael Ray and Paula Deen.  Guy Fieri's DINERS is slightly down in males, but both Rachael and Paula are down across the board.  Whether this is an effect of the summer season or whether it's a sign of a need for a bigger change is yet to be determined.

Despite losses on Saturdays, Food Network's specials are going strong, thanks to summer themes such as South Beach Fast Foods. The network's new strategy labeled FOOD NETWORK 4-PACK sems to be a smart programming move as well.  Four episodes of a series are stacked in a two-hour slot.  July's 4-PACKs included DINERS and SECRET LIFE OF.  This strategy also helps to raise the prime time averages for these same series.

July is where the final three episodes of THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR 4 aired.  The night will likely take a hit in August, as the ratings for the series were triple to quadruple the time period average.

ADDITIONAL RATINGS INFORMATION:

Food Network's season four debut of The Next Food Network Star on Sunday June 1st (10p) drew in 1.9 million total viewers, 1.1 million A25-54 viewers and 1 million A18-49 viewers. The network also calculated the median age for the series premiere was 43 years old, which is seven years younger than last year's season opener.

(Nielsen Media Research for Food Network, June 4, 2008)

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

None announced.

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

None announced.

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

BOY MEETS GRILL, BOY MEETS GRILL, BBQ WITH BOBBY FLAY, RESTAURANT MAKEOVER, THE HUNGRY DETECTIVE, HAM ON THE STREET, HOW TO BOIL WATER, MOLTO MARIO, ROKER ON THE ROAD, RECIPE FOR SUCCESS, GUY'S BIG BITE, QUICK FIX MEALS WITH ROBIN MILLER, PAULA'S HOME COOKING, PARTY LINE WITH THE HEARTY BOYS, ALL AMERICAN FESTIVALS, KITCHEN ACCOMPLISHED, EVERYDAY ITALIAN, 30 MINUTE MEALS, THE ESSENCE OF EMERIL, EASY ENTERTAINING WITH MICHAEL CHIARELLO, SEMI-HOMEMADE WITH SANDRA LEE, INSIDE DISH, FOOD FINDS, SUGAR RUSH, SARA'S SECRETS, BEHIND THE BASH

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