National Geographic Channel Analysis - November 2011

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NGC continues to mix anthologies such as NAT GEO PRESENTS and EXPLORER with series both new (FISH WARRIOR) and time-honored (INSIDE). Stunt scheduling utilizes multiple runs of popular series or thematically-similar specials slotted to maximize audience flow.

The Anthologies are utilized to house series as well as one-offs and mini-series. Premiere episodes of series often repeat the following week under one of the anthology umbrellas (e.g NGC FRIDAY) as a lead-in to the current week's new episode of the same series.

Monday and Tuesday are generally anthology driven, while Wednesday is expanding from a crime-oriented focus to other genres that might be considered on the "sensational" side for NGC.

Thursday remains Science & Technology-themed for the present time, while previously Dog-oriented  Friday and Natural History-centric Saturday are experimenting with a number of genres, now that all animal-related fare is migrating to sister network Nat Geo Wild. Sundays are anthology slots used for specials, themed stacks and one-offs.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison /November 2011 vs. November 2010  (% Change)




Monday 8-11pm




Tuesday 8-11pm




Wednesday 8-11pm




Thursday 8-11pm




Friday 8-11pm




Saturday 8-11pm




Sunday 8-11pm




MTWTFSS 8-11pm




Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

After four months of solid gains, NGC stumbled in November. While October featured gains of 20-25% over the same period in 2010, November's delivery was down by similar percentages. Six of seven nights saw HH and demo losses, with only Monday up slightly.  Science fare remains a challenge as the new Sci-Tech-themed Wednesday night again suffered the steepest losses from last year. New series  KNIGHTS OF MAYHEM, ROCKET CITY REDNECKS  and MAD SCIENTISTS struggled to establish viewership.

Populated by repeats of one-offs, EXPEDITION WEEK preempted regular weekday fare the week of November 7; while improving delivery slightly on a couple of nights, its overall effect on the month's HH an demo ratings was negligible. A look at NGC's Top 20 individual telecasts for the month finds a number of BORDER WARS and ULTIMATE FACTORIES, joined a mixed bag of Specials covering law enforcement, JFK, and Osama Bin Laden.  November was down modestly overall compared to October.

Monday's growth was spurred by two specials on Gold that ran during Expedition Week, as well as INSIDE THE GREEN BERETS, which ran under the SECRET ACCESS umbrella the final Monday of the month. HH and older demos grew modestly compared  to October.

After five straight months of annual growth, Tuesday declined modestly in HH and older demos from last year. New series KNIGHTS OF MAYHEM dropped 25% for RA18-49 and RA25-54 in its second week at 10pm. RM18-49 were up 20%, though, spurred by a block of ULTIMATE FACTORIES one week, as well as Expedition Week's HUNT FOR THE GIANT SQUID.Younger men were also up modestly from October.

Wednesday's new series ROCKET CITY REDNECKS and MAD SCIENTISTS declined modestly in Men demos from their October debut, after DEBUT losses in the 33% range from September. With both sereis populating the 8pm NGENUITY  anthology, HH and demo delivery were driven down by nearly half from 2010's block of INSIDE  and BORDER WARS.

Thursday was down sharply from last month, but only slightly from last year's Science-themed offerings. Expedition Week specials dealing with Gold performed well.

Friday's mixed bag was down modestly from a Crime-dominated line-up in October, and only slightly from last year's DOG WHISPERER-led lineup. A night of special on the Amish drew top honors for this night.

Saturday was down sharply from last year, and essentially flat with last month. RUSSIA'S TOUGHEST PRISONS and the Afghanistan documentary RESTREPO drew top demo honors for the survey. A Super Saturday block featuring new series KNIGHTS OF MAYHEM in Week 3 repped the month's weakest weekend delivery.

Sundays were down sharply from last year and last month. Two specials on the JFK assassination were the top programs on an evening that offered a wide variety of subjects from week to week.