Sci Fi Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - May 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of June 24, 2009)

CURRENT AND SIGNATURE PROGRAMMING

ECW (SPORTING)
Extreme Championship Wrestling features pro wrestlers in action.
Status: On air. Produced by: Extreme Championship Wrestling

EUREKA (DRAMA)
A newly hired sheriff reports for duty in the small, bucolic Pacific North-west town of Eureka and soon discovers that things are not what they seem.
Status: Season 3.5 premieres July 10. 10x60. Produced by: Universal Media Studios.

GHOST HUNTERS (REALITY)
Series follows a group of paranormal researchers throughout the country as they try to uncover the mystery behind haunted houses.  Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson are plumbers by day and ghost hunters by night.
Status: Season 5 premiered in March. Series returns August 19 at 9PM. Produced by: Sci-Fi Channel Productions / Pilgrim Films & Televsion, Inc.

GHOST HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL
(REALITY)
Spin-off of GHOST HUNTERS, this version takes the exploration to Europe.
Status: Series returns July 8 at 9PM. Produced by: Sci-Fi Channel Productions / Pilgrim Films & Televsion, Inc.

MOONLIGHT (DRAMA)
A captivating "undead" private investigator uses his acute vampire senses to help the living... instead of feeding on them. (Off CBS)
Status: On air. Produced by: Warner Bros. Television.

PRIMEVAL (DRAMA)
World-renowned evolutionary scientist Professor Nick Cutter and his team are recruited by the British Government to investigate a series of dinosaur sightings.
Status: On air. Produced by: Impossible Pictures.

SCI FI ORIGINAL MOVIES (MOVIES)
Original movies by the Sci Fi Channel.
Status: On air. Produced by Sci-Fi Channel Productions.

STAR TREK ENTERPRISE (DRAMA)
Part of the STAR TREK franchise, this series takes place aboard the Enterprise, on which the original series was based, but 10 years prior.
Status: On air. Produced by: Paramount Television / Braga Productions / Rick Berman Productions.

STAR TREK: NEXT GENERATION (DRAMA)
Spin-off of the original STAR TREK series, this popular series follows Captain Picard and his crew on their adventures.
Status: On air. Produced by: Paramount Television.

WCG ULTIMATE GAMER (REALITY COMPETITION)
A group of contestants live together in a loft apartment in LA and compete against each other to become the "Best All-Around Gamer" over the course of eight weeks.  The series is co-hosted by Hannah Simone and Joel Gourdin.
Status: Premiered March 9, 2009, at 10pm.  8 x 60. Produced by: Granada America.

MAY 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

GHOST HUNTERS, SCI FI ORIGINAL MOVIE, EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

The week starts out with a full stack of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION on Mondays and a two-hour stack of ENTERPRISE on Tuesdays, leading into ratings grabber ECW at 10pm. Wednesday is the only female-skewing night, where GHOST HUNTERS and GHOST HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL have found their home. Thursday is mostly movies, sometimes with a program (TNG, EUREKA) as a lead in, sometimes back-to-back movies. Fridays are usually acquired programs (MOONLIGHT and PRIMEVAL) at 9pm and 10pm, with a movie lead-in. Saturdays and Sundays are all movies, including the Sci Fi ORIGINAL MOVIES scattered throughout the weekend.

UPCOMING PREMIERES:

** WAREHOUSE 13 is slated to debut July 7, 2009.
** GHOST HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL returns July 8, 2009, at 9pm.
** EUREKA with 10 eps for season 3.5 on returns July 10, 2009, at 9pm.
** GHOST HUNTERS returns August 19, 2009, at 9pm.
** DESTINATION TRUTH returning this fall (premiere date not announced)
** MIND CONTROL WITH DERREN BROWN returning this fall (premiere date not announced)
** RELICQUEST new this fall (premiere date not announced)
** SANCTUARY returning this fall (premiere date not announced)
** SCARE TACTICS returning this fall (premiere date not announced)


RATINGS ANALYSIS:PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison:
May 2009 vs. May 2008  (% Change)

H'hold    M25-54    F25-54    P25-54
Monday 8-11pm               -2%         0%         29%          7%
Tuesday 8-11pm              -7%        -6%        -18%       -11%
Wednesday 8-11pm          4%       16%           1%          8%
Thursday 8-11pm              2%       29%           4%         21%
Friday 8-11pm                 -21%     -28%        -40%        -35%
Saturday 8-11pm            -38%      -45%         -38%       -42%
Sunday 8-11pm               -28%      -30%        -29%        -30%
MTWTFSS 8-11pm         -17%      -16%        -18%        -18%

*The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

As Sci Fi prepares for its name change, its audience is drifting off, resulting in the lowest household and demo ratings in years. May was a month without many new episodes or new programs. SciFi's audience may or may not be ready for the shift to Syfy, but they are certainly ready for some fresh programming.

Average Monday through Sunday primetime ratings were down by high teen percentages from year-ago and month-ago. Household audience was down -16% vs. April "09 and -17% vs. May "08. Adult 25-54 ratings were off by 14% and 18% for the same time periods. Despite the declines, there were some positive pulls on the network as well.

On Monday nights, the network attempted to ride in the wake of the successful theatrical release of JJ Abrams' Star Trek. STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION got another three-hour stack, and improved women ratings by about 30% vs. last year and 10% vs. last month. Men are still the dominant viewers of TNG, and they were not on-board, with flat ratings vs. last year and about a 10% slip vs. last month. (Last year STAR TREK ENTERPRISE was on the air). On Memorial Day, another theatrical tie-in was slightly more successful. LAND OF THE LOST ran straight through primetime, and pulled in better demo ratings than STAR TREK: TNG.

On Tuesdays, EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING moved from its long-standing 9pm timeslot to 10pm, and lost over 20% of core male audiences in the process.  In the lose-some / win-some category, lead in STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE earned 22% higher 25-54 ratings vs. last month.

Top draw for both men and women, GHOST HUNTERS, went into repeats and pulled down Wednesday nights by some bottom-line hurting numbers. Ratings for the night were down by about 30% across the board vs. last month, but compared to last year's line-up of mostly repeats, ratings were up 8% among adults 25-54, indicating the audience is ready for more.

Thursdays improved vs. both year ago and month ago, pulled up by theatricals such as Total Recall and Star Trek: First Contact. Repeats from season three of original program EUREKA aired three times on April 30, and sunk to the bottom of the ratings. It is scheduled to begin new episodes in July.

Fridays remain one of the weaker nights of the week. MOONLIGHT AND PRIMEVAL aired most Fridays this month, with mixed results. After dropping last month, MOONLIGHT showed a 37% increase among men 25-54 ratings, but PRIMEVAL dropped 13%. The lead-ins (movies and STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION) were stronger than the series.

Weekends continue to produce the biggest numbers on the network, outside of GHOST HUNTERS Wednesdays. The Sci Fi ORIGINAL MOVIES didn't do as well as last month. Three out of this month's four original movies made the top 10 telecast list this month, but none of them did as well as last month's strong performers. On the positive side, they topped last year's performance by 30% on adult 25-54 ratings.

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

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

SANCTUARY has started production for a second season.  13 episodes ordered.

DESTINATION TRUTH has been renewed for a third season, set to debut in Fall 2009.

SCI Fl announced an expansion of both the hit paranormal franchise as well as the Channel's partnership with Craig Piligian's Pilgrim Films and Television.  The multi-part deal includes a sixth season of GHOST HUNTERS, a second season of GHOST HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL and a six-episode order of the recently announced pilot GHOST HUNTERS: NEW GENERATION [working title].  In addition, Pilgrim will develop an entirely new series for the Channel with an eye toward a 2010 premiere.


PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA,  STARGATE ATLANTIS

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