TBS Analysis



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. Which is in place to give CONAN the biggest lead-in possible. TBS new round of original comedies runs on Thursday nights as well. 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, displacing a weekend movie.


LIVE + SAME DAY PRIMETIME RATINGS COMPARISON August 2012 vs. August 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

AUGUST 2012: Unlike most of the broad-based cable networks, The Summer Olympics did not seem to have much impact on TBS. The trends we have seen all year were here in August too: phenomenal bottom line growth vs. last year, slightly declining ratings vs. the previous month, and an audience composition that continues to grow older and more female.

Bottom line primetime household ratings grew 41% vs. last year, more than any of the CableU 30 networks. However, core 18-49 demo ratings grew at a slower pace (still a very respectable +28%). This shift in demos is reflected in the audience’s median age, which is 16% older this year vs. last, hovering just under the 40 year old mark. In another audience shift, there was a bigger surge in female viewers than male viewers, and TBS’ 18-49 primetime audience is now 54% female. The net has held a male skew for years.

Most of this change has come about from the after effects of THE BIG BANG THEORY. The off-net sitcom literally changed the face of TBS. It airs 14 times a week, pulling big numbers and an older female audience. Which is certainly good news, but in even better news, it looks like the rest of the line-up is starting to rally around BANG.

THE FAMILY GUY still holds Monday nights, and is the last remaining program (besides select movies) to hold a strong young male skew. Ratings were sliding for a while, but it looks like they have leveled out for now.

On Thursdays, SULLIVAN & SON is holding strong, performing well above the network average. Although it is still losing audience from its BIG BANG THOEORY lead-in, it grows women 18-49 audience each week. It is TBS’ second original half hour sitcom to receive a renewal notice this year (MEN AT WORK being the first). THE WEDDING BAND, an original one-hour comedy is set to launch in November, and new episodes of COUGAR TOWN are slated to join the line-up as well. Suddenly, the network has a full roster of comedy. This time last year the only thing TBS had going for it was FAMILY GUY.

Fridays hosted HOUSE OF PAYNE and a new season of FOR BETTER OR WORSE. FOR BETTER OR WORSE premiered its second season last month with top ratings for its Friday night time slot. Ratings dipped at the beginning of the month (when it went up against opening night of The Olympics), but picked up again, netting out just 13% below last month’s performance on core women 18-49. HOUSE OF PAYNE in repeats is off slightly vs. last month and vs. last year when it held the more favorable Wednesday night slot.

As a whole, movies picked up some female viewers and dropped men. The VERY FUNNY NEWS movie skein didn’t do well with either.