TBS Analysis

Publish date:


Monday night starts the week with a FAMILY GUY stack, and Tuesday follows with a stack of THE BIG BANG THEORY. The two programs mix it up on Wednesday and Thursday nights with FAMILY GUY leading into THE BIG BANG THEORY. Friday through Sunday were all about movies on TBS for years, but now Tyler Perry programming brings women and African-American viewers to the network on Fridays, after getting the boot from its long-standing home on Wednesday nights. THE BIG BANG THEORY has staked a claim to yet another night – Saturday – where it runs from 8PM to 10PM each week.


LIVE PRIMETIME RATINGS COMPARISON February 2012 vs. February 2011 (% 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

February 2012:  It’s another month with astonishing growth at TBS. The 18-49 audience ratings grew by 37% vs. last year, the third month in a row with huge year over year increases. The fuel for the fire under TBS’ ratings is no mystery – THE BIG BANG THEORY came to TBS this past fall and quickly took over.

Which was a good thing, because TBS needed some help. After flying high on FAMILY GUY for years, audiences finally burned out and needed something new. THE BIG BANG THEORY fit the bill, pulling audiences back up to their previous peaks, and even bringing along women for the ride, something THE FAMILY GUY never really excelled at.

This month viewers were treated to 60 telecasts of THE BIG BANG THEORY. The program dominates Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays now, giving a boost to ratings, and perhaps equally as important, to CONAN. That program has improved 27% vs. October, when THE BIG BANG THEORY started to air. (NY Times)

FAMILY GUY runs only on Monday nights now, and Mondays were the only night to see decline vs. year ago. Still, FAMILY GUY brings in more men than Tyler Perry’s Friday night fare, and it tops the movie ratings as well. Perhaps a lesson was learned, and TBS will not depend upon BIG BANG as heavily as it relied upon FAMILY GUY.

The Hangover was also a standout at TBS this month, pulling in the highest telecast ratings of the month. The theatrical is a natural fit for TBS – but it is yet another acquired property.

There are three original comedies slated to roll out in the coming months, with MEN AT WORK set to debut first on May 24th. It follows four buddies who work together at a magazine. The two others sound like variations on a theme, and are set to debut in the summer. SULLIVAN & SONS is a multi-camera buddy comedy set in a bar, while THE WEDDING BAND is a multi-camera buddy comedy following a garage band. This will be a big summer for TBS’ original programming department as we will all find out....Can TBS find its own voice, or will it need to rely upon the comedy of others?