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 airs two episodes back-to-back in the timeslot.
FEBRUARY 2013 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live + SD Primetime Ratings Comparison / February 2013 vs. February 2012 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
With 3 series premieres in February, ID had a solid month. However, as more networks are starting to compete for the female crime space, ID has started to see more night-to-night ratings fluctuation than it has in months past. 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, with REDRUM (murder cases, told backward), taking the top spot in ratings among the female demographics for the month. REDRUM, along with the sexily-titled MY DIRTY LITTLE SECRET (which replaced January's sexily titled EVIL TWINS), led Tuesday nights to a 38% growth in overall viewers compared to February 2012, and solid growth among the female demographics as well. The night is the second strongest of the week for ID.
Another program 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, lost viewers throughout the month. Sundays also saw the premiere of CATCH MY KILLER in the 9pm slot on 2/17. Numbers were above average in its debut, but fell in the second week.
Fridays saw the premiere of WHO THE BLEEP, the spinoff of series WHO THE BLEEP DID I MARRY? The show hit the air on 2/1, and despite a strong start, also saw a loss of viewers as the month progressed. Fridays were down in overall HH numbers, but saw year-to-year gains among the female demographics.
Saturday's lineup of originals, including SCORNED: LOVE KILLS, saw overall HH year-to-year growth, as well an increase in Women 25-54. Numbers were down slightly in younger women, however. Still, the night was the strongest of the week for ID, and SCORNED's audiences grew throughout the month.
Thursday nights in February were down 23% in overall viewers compared to last year, despite solid performances by FRENEMIES, which debuted last month. An aptly-named Discovery ID special, 50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR LOVER, which aired on Valentine's day, failed to hit HH averages, but scored above average in Women 18-49 and Women 25-54.
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 the coming months, look for more originals from ID and look for a few more risks for ID to expand their mystery genre.