MTV's schedule is constantly changing. They usually have at least 3 nights of primetime first-run programs, while the other nights are either re-runs or other specials. They fill gaps in the schedule by showing feature films and a few acquired series relevant to their audience. The timeslots leading up to premieres are usually a marathon of episodes of weeks' past. They rely on a lot of repetition in the form of marathons, especially on the weekends. They also make good use of tent poling by scheduling longstanding reliable series like THE REAL WORLD at 10PM and new, untested content either right before or at 10:30 or 11PM.
SEPTEMBER 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / September 2012 vs. September 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
Although MTV enjoyed solid monthly gains, the network experienced significant yearly losses. Some of the disappointing numbers can be attributed to TEEN MOM. The show closed out its fourth and final season this September and failed to match the ratings of any of its previous finales.
Though the final official episode of MOM was the show’s worst rated finale, it still fared better than either of the two special “check up” episodes featuring Dr. Drew Pinsky. Despite underwhelming performances (from a yearly comparison) by these three telecasts, MOM was nonetheless one of the strongest performers in relation to the rest of the network.
Regardless of the fact that Tuesdays (which featured MOM) were down a full 40% from a year ago among women aged 18-49, they were still the network’s most popular night of the week. The final MOM episode was also the network’s most successful telecast in September.
The network’s top program of the month, the 2012 VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS, also failed to measure up against last year. After earning record numbers in 2011, this year’s VMAs plummeted by 50% among total viewers. The awards show aired on a Thursday (as opposed to its usual Sunday timeslot), forcing it to square off against the Democratic National Convention.
It wasn’t all bad news for MTV – scripted show AWKWARD stayed fairly even with last month’s strong ratings overall. In fact, the show was up 25% among the key women 18 – 49 demo. Ultimately, the show closed out its second season to respectable ratings, but failed to capture last year’s finale numbers.
Meanwhile, SNOOKI & JWOWW closed out its first season with an uninspiring thud. The show was still unable to gain sizeable numbers among women 18-49 as it stuttered into its final week.
RIDICULOUSNESS also fell prey to the network’s overall lack of viewership. Due to the show’s sub par ratings, Monday nights were down from both a monthly and yearly standpoint.