Sci Fi Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - August 2008 - Broadcasting & Cable

Sci Fi Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - August 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of September 21, 2008)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Adults 25-54 (Sci Fi's "Alternative Programming" skews younger - Adults 18-49.)

AUGUST 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

WWE ENTERTAINMENT, SCI FI ORIGINAL MOVIE, ECW, EUREKA, GHOST HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL, GHOST HUNTERS, SCI FI MOVIE, SCARE TACTICS, DOCTOR WHO, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Monday nights in July remained stacked episodes of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.

Thist month, stacked episodes of EUREKA at 8pm and 9pm lead into EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING at 10pm. 

Wednesday nights remains stacked episodes of the hour-long GHOST HUNTERS, followed by the premiere of the new SCARE TACTICS at 10pm and 10:30pm.

Thursdays in August were back-to-back-to-back episodes of JEREMIAH, an acquisition off of Showtime.

Friday was a lineup of originals - in July it was JOAN OF ARCADIA at 8pm, DOCTOR WHO at 9pm, and STARGATE ATLANTIS in the 10pm spot.  Later in the month, DOCTOR WHO at 9pm was replaced with another episode of STARGATE ATLANTIS.

Saturday's and Sunday's primetime lineups feature a variety of Sci Fi Channel MOVIES and ORIGINAL MOVIES.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

JULY - AUGUST 2008:

**STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION replaced STAR TREK ENTERPRISE on Monday, starting on June 2, 2008.
**EUREKA replaced STAR TREK ENTERPRISE on Tuedsays in the 8pm and 9pm slot, leading into ECW.

PREMIERES:

**New episodes of STARGATE ATLANTIS premiered on 7/11/08.YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

AUGUST AND BEYOND:

**New season of ECW premieres 9/30/08 at 9pm.
**SCARE TACTICS premieres 9/30/08 at 10pm.

FINALES:

**EUREKA finale on 9/23/08.
**STARGATE ATLANTIS will conclude in January 2009.

Smart programming decisions, solid original series, and a true devotion to a supportive core audience has allowed the Sci Fi channel to post some big gains over last year.  Compared to August 2007, Sci Fi Channel's overall HH share is up 17% from a year ago, and saw solid increases across all key demographics.

Viewers are clearly respnding well to better acquisitions (both television programs and films) on the network and the strong original series that play on Wednesday night.   Sci Fi's movie nights are showing strong gains from last year.  And with more high-concept series and higher-profile programs looming for 4th quarter, things are looking quite good at Sci Fi these days.

AUGUST 2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Despite strong year-to-year growth from 2007 to 2008, the Sci Fi Channel was flat when comparing August to July 2008.  In fact, there was no growth at all among the key demographics, which isn't too much a surprise givent the minor schedule shifts from July to August.  Look for more changes to comes as new programming (LOST) and new high-profile series join the schedule in the weeks to come.

Monday and Tuesday nights both saw solid growth over last month.  The shift from STAR TREK ENTERPRISE to STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION on Monday nights was clearly a positive one, and numbers across all key demographics responded well. 

Tuesday nights has traditionally be somewhat of a struggle for the Sci Fi Channel and they seemed to struggled to find the right companion programs for their somewhat off-brand staple, EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING.  This month, however, EUREKA actually out-performed ECW several times during the month.

Wednesday night's original series lineup performed well for the network, though numbers were slightly down from last month.  GHOST HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL continues to dominate the night, and unfortunately, SCARE TACTICS in the 10pm and 10:30pm slots couldn't keep up the same numbers as the signature series.

Thursdays in August, usually a night for movies, were stacked episodes of off-network acquisition JEREMIAH.  Despite the cult following of the show, the numbers weren't quite up to par with the network's other nights - but continues to demonstrate the strong belief and respect that the channel has for its core audience.

Fridays were also slightly down from last month and the lineup of scripted series JOAN OF ARCADIA and DOCTOR WHO couldn't bring in the same numbers as STARGATE ATLANTIS in the 10pm slot.

Saturdays and Sundays, both movie nights, saw minor change from last month - Saturdays were slightly up, Sundays slightly down.  Monster Ark on Saturday the 9th was the top performing title for the month.


PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

The Sci Fi Channel aquired two direct-to-DVD STARGATE Movies: Ark of Truth and Continuum

LOST (aquisition from ABC), will begin airing on September 15, 2008, at 7pm.  Sci Fi will air all four seasons in four-episode blocks every Monday during the fall.

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

A new season of ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) will premiere on Tuesday, September 30 at 9pm and will be followed by new episodes of SCARE TACTICS, with Tracy Morgan, at 10pm. They replace EUREKA, the mid-season finale of which will air on September 23.  Remaining episodes of EUREKA and STARGATE ATLANTIS are expected to be aired in 2009. (C21)

SCI FI Channel is stretching the current seasons of GHOST HUNTERS and DESTINATION TRUTH. Thirteen new episodes were ordered for GHOST HUNTERS' fourth season airing on Wednesdays at 9p, and DESTINATION TRUTH will be back this fall with seven more episodes for its second season.  (Cynopsis)

CHARLIE JADE (20x60), a "...CGI-laden drama series from the UK's Park Entertainment that stars Jeffrey Pierce (The West Wing, Boston Public) and Marie-Julie Rivest (Savage Messiah)." (C21 Media.)

MIND CONTROL WITH DERREN BROWN returns this fall with six one-hour episodes.


PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

The final season of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA will consist of 10 episodes, followed by a 2 hour movie, which will begin airing in in early 2009.

The final episode of STARGATE ATLANTIS will air in January 2009.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

TWILIGHT ZONE, JEREMIAH, DOCTOR WHO

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