MTV Performance/Schedule Analysis - May 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of June 24, 2009)

CURRENT AND SIGNATURE PROGRAMS:

16 AND PREGNANT (REALITY)
A look at real life "Junos" - girls who are in high school, but pregnant.
Status: Premiered on June 11, 2009, 6 x 60.  Executive produced by Morgan J. Freeman.

AMERICA'S BEST DANCE CREW (COMPETITION)
Teams of dance crews compete to see which one is the best.

Status: New season ordered

DEGRASSI (SCRIPTED DRAMA)
Series about teenagers in high school and the drama as they face obstacles such as drugs, STDs and violence.
Status: Premiered in June

DJ AND THE FRO (SCRIPTED COMEDY)
Scripted comedy about two office workers who swap viral videos.
Status: Premiered in June.  20X30

THE HILLS (SCRIPTED REALITY)
Reality show that follows the story of college student Lauren Conrad as she navigates Hollywood, her career, and her relationships.
Status: Re-runs currently airing.

I'M A CELEBRITY...GET ME OUT OF HERE! (CELEBREALITY)
Features Celebrities competing in strange situations in the Costa Rican jungle.  Airs and is cross-promoted on NBC and MTV.
Status: Premiered on June 1 on NBC.  Beginning on June 7, MTV airs the previous week's episodes in a marathon, as well as exclusive new footage.  Produced by Granada America.

MADE (REALITY)
With the help of a Made Coach, someone attempts to be made into something (an athlete, prom queen, etc) that is as far from the current person they are as can possibly be.

Status: Currently airing.

MAKING THE BAND (COMPETITION)
Sean Combs oversees the creation of the hottest new band.
Status: Re-runs airing, new seasons in the works

MY SUPER SWEET 16 (REALITY)
An inside look at some of the most lavish sweet 16 parties imaginable.
Status: Currently off the air

NITRO CIRCUS (REALITY)
Jeff Tremaine and Johnny Knoxville, producers of MTV's Jackass serves up a series showcasing freestyle motocross rider Travis Pastrana. The series watches Travis and his buddies as they try to outdo each other with daring stunts.
Status: Premiered February 8, 2009.  Produced by Dickhouse Productions and Godfrey Entertainment.

REAL WORLD (REALITY)

A group of strangers (and seemingly endless booze) picked to live in a house and have their lives taped.  The upcoming season will take place in Cancun, Mexico.

Status:  Premiered June 24, 2009.  Produced by Bunim-Murray Productions

ROB DYRDEK'S FANTASY FACTORY (COMPETITION)
A behind-the-scenes look at Rob Drydek's skateboard empire.
Status: Premiered in February.  Re-runs and a best-off show currently airing.

TAKING THE STAGE (REALITY)
Created by Nick Lachey and Colton Gramm, this show follows talented high schoolers from Cincinnati's School for the Creative and Performing Arts as they pursue dreams of fame.
Status: Premiered on March 19th, 2009, currently airing. 10 x 60.

THE PHONE (COMPETITION)
Based on a dutch reality show, THE PHONE will follow two people who must complete challenges while only talking to each other on cell phones.
Status: Premiered on April 20, 2009.  Executive Produced by Justin Timberlake, based on a Dutch Reality Game show from Park Lane Productions.

TRUE LIFE (DOCUMENTARY SERIES)

Series documenting young adults who struggle with some sort of obstacle in their life.  (Ranging from poverty, to working in the sex industry, to living on Staten Island, among others.)
Status: New and old episodes currently airing during prime-time and daytime.

MAY 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

TRUE LIFE, MAKING THE BAND 4, TAKING THE STAGE, ROB DYRDEKS FANTASY FACTORY, NITRO CIRCUS, THE HILLS, RW/RR THE DUEL 2, COLLEGE LIFE, THE PHONE

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

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.  Lately, they've been occasionally filling gaps by showing feature films 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 old reliables like THE HILLS and THE REAL WORLD at 10pm and new, untested content at 10:30 or 11pm.

UPCOMING PREMIERES:

MAKING HIS BAND will premiere on July 27, 2009

RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison:

May 2009 vs. May 2008  (% Change)

H'hold    M18-49   F18-49    P18-49
Monday 8-11pm          -29%       -11%       -36%       -29%
Tuesday 8-11pm         -50%       -33%       -50%       -36%
Wednesday 8-11pm    -31%       -23%       -36%       -33%
Thursday 8-11pm        -22%       -29%          0%       -11%
Friday 8-11pm             -29%       -14%       -13%       -25%
Saturday 8-11pm         -22%        60%       -33%       -10%
Sunday 8-11pm           100%      200%      120%      150%
MTWTFSS 8-11pm     -18%        13%       -13%        -8%
*The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

As compared to last year, May took a significant dive in ratings for MTV on most nights of the week.  There was a lot of experimenting in the schedule and not a lot of new content.

Aside from Sunday, all other nights were down in household share for MTV.  Regular staples like the REAL WORLD CHALLENGE are no longer obvious ratings leaders.  THE HILLS, although way above the monthly average, is still down 21% in people 18-49 from this time last year.  Other shows like TRUE LIFE have also taken a hit compared to last year. 

New shows have had mixed ratings. THE PHONE has had a disappointing showing.  It rated way below average and was down from last month.  COLLEGE LIFE, on the other hand as held its own after a disappointing debut in March, performing above average by holding the attention of Monday night viewers after THE HILLS.

The negative year-to-year numbers are mostly due to too much repetition and not enough fresh new content in primetime.  TRUE LIFE was all over the schedule and although it always has had solid ratings, the program rarely scores above-average numbers  The same goes for MADE during primetime.

Sunday continues to be the exception and the strongest night of the week for MTV.  The significant jump is attributed to several factors.   First, Sunday programs like NITRO CIRCUS and FANTASY FACTORY continue to do very well with the male audience.  MTV has taken notice by renewing both for a second season.  The biggest reason for the Sunday jump was the 2009 MTV MOVIE AWARDS on May 31st.  The show scored its best ratings since 2004, arguably due to Twilight, the highly successful movie that was awarded 5 golden popcorns that night.  The trailer to  New Moon, the sequel to Twilight was also aired during the broadcast.

Other noticeable signs of light in an otherwise dark month for MTV were movies and specials scheduled in the weeks leading up to the MOVIE AWARDS.  Star Wars did particularly well, especially among men, as did the multiple runs of Steve-O Demise and Rise, a documentary about the well-known MTV personality.  This is pretty new for MTV and it seems to be working well in the absence of successful original series.  Other movies shown were Scary Movie, Barbershop, and Hustle and Flow.  All did average or just above.

It seems like MTV has recognized the change in its audience that is bringing the ratings down and is answering the call with many new programs being introduced in June and beyond that will shift, once again, the focus of the network.  This means some new programs will be highly interactive while others will feature powerful storytelling and optimistic, inspirational messages.  Their new slate includes a new daily entertainment program, IT'S ON WITH ALEXA CHUNG, along with teen self-help shows like ASK ELIZABETH and GONE TOO FAR.  This shift promises to reel in more female viewers to match the very successful male-skewing Sundays on other nights of the week.

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

I'M A CELEBRITY... GET ME OUT OF HERE airs and is cross-promoted on MTV and NBC.  Also, MTV has been airing feature films like Star Wars, Scary Movie, Barbershop, and Hustle and Flow.

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

MTV has ordered new seasons of THE HILLS, THE REAL WORLD, RW/RR CHALLENGE, RUN'S HOUSE, FANTASY FACTORY, NITRO CIRCUS, AMERICA'S BEST DANCE CREW and 16 AND PREGNANT.

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

No recent announcements.

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