Investigation Discovery Analysis



A mix of repurposed acquisitions combined with catchy-named originals comprise ID’s schedule.  Premieres run nearly every night of the week, leading to nightly averages with no major fluctuations, a different scheduling strategy from many other networks in the cable landscape.  While theme nights are a little hard to discern (since the theme of the network is basically "investigation mysteries," Friday nights have traditionally featured programs about murders of people in relationships (DEADLY WOMEN, and newcomers PRETTY BAD GIRLS and WIVES WITH KNIVES.) While most programs are hours, ID is open to half-hours, and usually air two episodes back-to-back in the timeslot.


Live + SD Primetime Ratings Comparison / January 2013 vs. January 2012  (% Change)




Monday 8-11pm




Tuesday 8-11pm




Wednesday 8-11pm




Thursday 8-11




Friday 8-11pm




Saturday 8-11pm




Sunday 8-11pm




MTWTFSS 8-11pm




Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

2013 started the year off solidly for Investigation Discovery.  January featured the premiere of several new series during the month, and overall HH audiences were up compared to both year-ago and month-ago ratings.  However, there was a loss of viewers among younger women, as a few other networks have started to actively compete for viewers in the female crime space.  Still, numbers remain strong for most returning and signature series, and with a slate of premieres on board for this year, we expect audiences to continue to grow for the network.

Top shows for ID notoriously have some kind of "hook" - whether it's a sexy title, topic, or story-telling method.  This month was no exception, as REDRUM (murder cases, told backward), taking the top spot in ratings for the month.  REDRUM, along with the sexily-titled EVIL TWINS, led Tuesday nights to a 31% growth in overall viewers compared to January 2012, and solid growth among the female demographics as well.  The night is the strongest of the week for ID.

Other programs to score big this month was ON THE CASE WITH PAULA ZAHN, which anchors the Sunday night schedule in the 10pm slot.  This off-network acquisition remains a signature series for ID, and pulled in numbers well above-average for the night.  The series has remained strong, and grown its audience significantly from a year ago.  48 HOURS ON ID, in the 8pm slot, in comparison, didn't make the top telecasts for the month, and saw a significantly lower level of year-to-year growth.

Several premieres in January made waves at ID this month.  FRENEMIES, which debuted on Thursday 1/10, started its run with just about average numbers, but grew throughout the month.  Lead-in THE WILL: FAMILY SECRETS REVEALED is starting to tire and numbers were down for the normally high-performing series during January. DANGEROUS PERSUASIONS, which bowed on 1/16, scored above-average in its debut, but fell in its second week.

Fridays saw the premiere of DESPERATE MEASURES on 1/18 in the 9pm slot, but it was returning series DEADLY WOMEN which helped boost the night up 15% in overall viewers compared to last year, and bring the nightly average age down to be the youngest of the week for ID.

It's clear that ID has tremendous momentum and an influx of new programming to keep viewers compelled and coming back for more.  For producers, it's also one of the few places that will potentially greenlight a paper pitch - just make sure your stories haven't been... "done to death."  In 2013, look for more originals from ID and look for a few more risks for ID to expand their mystery genre.