National Geographic Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - October 2007 - Broadcasting & Cable

National Geographic Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - October 2007

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of December 3, 2007)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Adults 25-54

OCTOBER 2007 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

Most of the National Geographic Channel's lineup is one-offs, under various Strand names.  We'll break out which titles in each Strand worked best. Looking at the top telecasts, is a better indicator, we feel, of what works best in prime for National Geographic, based on their strategy and scheduling.

Yeah, but the top program this month is a  program:  DOG WHISPERER, well above the Nat Geo prime analysis, as per usual.  NGC FRIDAY, THRILL ZONE; INSIDE, TABOO and NG PRESENTS (27 so-named telecasts in October!).

When you look at individual telecasts, it looks like this:  6 of Top 10 were NG PRESENTS, in this order:  SNAKEBITE; LOCKDOWN: INMATE U (no relation to CableU, we assure you); DECODING DEAD SEA SCROLLS; HEROIN CRISIS; SEARCH FOR NOAH'S ARK; SHOOTING OF RONALD REAGAN.  TABOO; WHAT HAPPENED: EXODUS REVEALED and one DOG WHISPERER rounded it out.  At least another 10 telecasts performed above prime.

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

At the core of the Society's mission:   "to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet."  Interesting statement on their website:  "National Geographic Channel is the only place in the world where you can watch all our programs around the clock. Our specials on other channels are just that:   specials." It's true that their daytime looks a lot like prime. That's happening on more than a few networks these days (main competitor Discovery, for one).

So the strategies are, somewhat needless to say,  all over the map"¦"¦"¦that is to say, filled with one-offs, or anthology series or "Various".   Many nights, different Strands have the same subject:  spies, bears, religious cults all had a whack at it this month.  Thursday is more or less big, guy stuff or science.  Friday is animals and pretty much all DOG WHISPERER at that., Saturday  is now officially all WILD (or wild animals under another title)"¦but that's about all we can see.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER:

Lots and lots of different titles and themes within the Strands, but a schedule change that does not make, per se.  What did happen was NAT GEO PRESENTS now occupies most of Tuesday at 9pm, with WHAT HAPPENED moving to 10pm.  DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS goes in for the first hour of WILD, Saturday at 8pm.

AND BEYOND:

Just about the same as always, isolating every series change to "Various" would be a nightmare"¦but that's kinda how the schedule comes together.   As mentioned earlier, essence of the Nat Geo strategy is to run a good deal of one-offs in or out of existing Strands. EXPLORER is a Wednesday 8pm fixture, with INSIDE AT 9pm.  TABOO pretty much stays Wednesday at 10pm.  DOG WHISPERER owns all or at least 2/3 of Friday night.

Upcoming and worth noting:  NAKED SCIENCE returns with a vengeance"¦a whole night on 10/31, then the next week, 8 hours over three nights, November 6 - 8.

Here are the one-offs and specials coming your way from Nat Geo Channel in the coming weeks:

For NAT GEO PRESENTS  on Mondays, Tuesdays and Sundays (some are Strands like INSIDE) -    LOCKDOWN:  TENT CITY; LOCKDOWN: INMATE U; AMERICA'S DEADLY DOZEN; SCIENCE OF SWARFISM/GIGANTISM/CONJOINED TWINS; THE REAL ROSWELL; SECRETS OF THE MOON LANDINGS; SECRETS OF THE FREEMASONS; HITLER AND THE OCCULT; HUNT FOR HITLER; a couple TABOOs (Sunday 11/11); AFRICA'S LAST EDEN; AMAZING PLANET; SECRET YELLOWSTONE; INSIDE 9/11: ZERO HOURS; HOW IT WAS: VOICES OF 9/11; HOOKED: CAUGHT BARE-HANDED; AMAZON'S DEADLY DOZEN; DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS: SUPER SNAKES; LOCKED UP ABROAD; PERU and VENEZUELA; CRITICAL SITUATION: NIGHTMARE ON MT. HOOD; INSDE THE GREEN BERETS; REIGN OF TERROR; another CRITICAL SITUATION: AL QAEDA AMBUSH.

Saturday's WILD gets these upcoming critters:  RELENTLESS ENEMIES; BATTLE OF THE BEARS; PLANET CARNIVORE: KING BEAR; GALAPAGOS (3 hours worth); HOG GENIUS and a similar-themed EXPLORER: HOGZILLA.

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

Nat Geo should be pleased here"¦HH are up a third; women up 50% and men 25-54 up 25%, with young men steady from 2006.  5 nights were up, and Thursday and Saturday were down in men only.  The network got ever-so-slightly younger (1%), but Saturday was younger by 10%, Wednesday by 8%.

Trackable series and Strands performances we see from 2006 were generally up"¦other than EXPLORER, which was down across the board.  Big gains for DOG WHISPERER and THRILL ZONE (mostly those MONSTER FISH shows).

OCTOBER 2007 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Steady-as-she-goes from September"¦.basically flat from last month, though statistically, fewer women overall.  Closer examination shows 4 nights noticeably down, and 2 of the up ones, had some demo concerns.  So, year-to-year, pretty good; month-to-month, not nearly so.

Monday - Women were down a third from last month.  Clearly, they shunned INSIDE SADDAM'S REIGN OF TERROR, GHOST SHIPS and BIG FOOT.  Men came to the rescue for SADDAM and its lead-in, INSIDE THE TALIBAN.  Everyone seemed to like UNCONSCIOUS PILOT; ACCIDENTAL SURVIVAL: FREEFALLS and SUPER STRENGTH"¦.the strongest Monday programs of the month.

Tuesday - Darn near the strongest night of the month (#2, and #1 in young men).   Good gains in men and young women.  The October 16 line-up seemed to pack "Ëœem in:  SEARCH FOR NOAH'S ARK; DECODING THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS; EXODUS REVEALED - great scheduling, btw.  HEROIN CRISIS (on another Tuesday night)  was another top program and well above the prime and even the Tuesday average.  Oddly, a night of animals - KING COBRA; DEADLY DOZEN AFRICA; BEAR MAN'S LAND underperformed., and BEARS and SNAKES usually do pretty well.

Wednesday - Best performers:  TABOO (half  of the times, anyway:  PETS and SEXUAL IDENTITY); WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS GANG; VEGAS MAFIA.  Nothing really underperformed here, yet the night was still even or down a bit.

Thursday - Down from last month, and almost the week's lowest night.  Really, only IMPOSSIBLE BRIDGES: DENMARK TO SWEDEN and MAN MADE: PETERBILT (the big trucks) made any waves.  IMPOSSIBLE BRIDGES: GOLDEN GATE and DEEP SEA DRILLERS did not.

Friday - Still a solid night, despite slippage in the young demos.  DOG WHISPERER gets it done, and Nat Geo is doing a good job resisting overplaying it.  Always builds from the first to second hour.  Best following it at 10pm?  SCIENCE OF OBESITY.  Not so MIRACLE CURES or INCREDIBLE HUMAN MACHINE.

Saturday - Up in young women;  down in both 25-54s.  Only one telecast broke away from the pack"¦.PLANET CARNIVORE LION, but the Strand does pretty well.  The animals SNAKES and BIG CATS looked good in 2 outings each, in WILD and/or DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS.  Latter is a returning series, with mixed results overall.

Sunday - Top night of the week;  up in young men, down in women.  Tops for men 25-54, too.  SNAKEBITE did really well here (and not too bad on Saturday, as we just saw).  This is where THRILL ZONE shines:  HOOKED AGAIN:  MONSTER FISH delivered, as did LOCKDOWN: INMATE U.    INCREDIBLE HUMAN MACHINE did not impress here, either"¦down from its INSIDE THE LIVING BODY lead-in.  And here is a rare example of BEARS not delivering: PREHISTORIC PREDATORS: BEAR was the lowest 8pm show, and got no help from another PREH PRED:  WOLF.

LATEST ACQUISITIONS:

MUMMY WHO CAME FROM THE COLD; WILD WEST UNCOVERED (See IN DEVELOPMENT)

LATEST PROGRAM RENEWALS:

TABOO; DOG WHISPERER, EXPLORER, FIGHT SCIENCE, NAKED SCIENCE, ULTIMATE FACTORIES

LATEST PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

BE THE CREATURE, DEADLY DOZEN, LIVING WILD, MOST EXTREME JOBS, , TOTALLY WILD, ULTIMATE DISASTER, UNDERCOVER HISTORY, HUNTER AND HUNTED, PLANET CARNIVORE, MEGA MOVERS; MEGA STRUCTURES, DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS

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