December's primetime schedule was more structured than it has been in months past. Mondays featured Discovery blue-chip CURIOSITY. Tuesdays in December were all off-network acquisition FRINGE. Wednesdays were originals, anchored by DARK MATTERS: TWISTED BUT TRUE. HOW IT'S MADE and HOW DO THEY DO IT anchor Thursday nights, while Fridays and Saturdays featured a variety of rotating programs. Sundays in December focused on deep space and big questions, with HOW THE UNIVERSE WORKS, HOW BIG/SMALL IS THE UNIVERSE, and DEEP SPACE MARVELS.
DECEMBER 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live + SD Primetime Ratings Comparison / December 2012 vs. December 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
What used to be a network that relied nearly primarily on re-airings of HOW IT'S MADE has developed into a network with a full slate of original series in various genres and high-profile specials, and off network acquisitions. This paid off well for the network as 2012 comes to a close.
December closed out 2012 on a positive note, with 11% year-to-year growth in overall viewers, and increases younger demoographics. In addition, most nights of the week had year-to-year growth.
Monday nights in December featured a lineup of various originals paired with CURIOSITY, (a program shared with sister network Discovery). Monday nights were up 20% compared to December 2011. Monday nights failed to hit network average overall, but a few programs scored above - WHEN EARTH ERUPTS being the most successful.
Tuesdays in December also saw year-to-year growth in overall HH ratings (up 43%), as well as among adults 25-54 The schedule was comprised of stacked episodes FRINGE, save for a marathon of HOW IT'S MADE on 12/18. Both shows had telecasts that outperformed average.
More various program choices for Wednesday nights in December. The night saw extremely positive year-to-year growth compared to December 2011 (up 40% in overall HH demos.) The top performing series were ALIEN ENCOUNTERS and DARK MATTERS: TWISTED BUT TRUE. The night was the youngest-skewing of the week for Science by several years.
Thursday nights continue to be strong for the network- this month, it was the strongest night of the week, delivering above-average ratings in overall HH demos and among the key younger male demographics as well. Stacked episodes of HOW IT'S MADE and HOW DO THEY DO IT attract a solid viewership. HOW DO THEY DO IT is up 15% overall compared to last year.
Fridays in December were down 10% compared to December 2011. HOW IT'S MADE scored above average, but a haphazard schedule didn't lead to much appointment viewing for the night. Saturdays had a similarly scheduled programming lineup, but solid performances from SURVIVING ZOMBIES helped drive the night up 33%
Saturdays in December were anchored by marathons of HOW IT'S MADE, HOW TO THEY DO IT, and FRINGE. Overall, the night was up 32% compared to December 2011 in overall HH demos, with both HOW IT'S MADE and FRINGE scoring above-average.
Sunday night's primetime lineup was up 10% compared to December 2011, due in part to a solid performance from BIBLICAL MYSTERIES EXPLAINED.
In 2013, look for more male-skewing character-driven shows, as well as more comedy. ODDITIES hits the mark, but tends to skew too female. We expect more male-based competition as well, a la PUNKIN CHUNKIN, to hit the air in the new year.