TBS Performance/Schedule Analysis - Broadcasting & Cable

TBS Performance/Schedule Analysis

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of October 23, 2009)

CURRENT AND SIGNATURE PRIMETIME PROGRAMMING

THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW
(SITCOM)
Engvall gives a humorous look at parenting in the modern world, playing a family counselor who struggles to figure out his own family issues.
Status: 3rd season returned in July (new Saturday night timeslot). Produced by: Parallel Entertainment and TBS

FAMILY GUY (SITCOM)
Animated series about a dysfunctional family and a talking dog.  (Off Fox.)
Status: On TBS' primetime schedule. Produced by: 20th Century Fox

FRIENDS (SITCOM)
Sitcom about group of friends in New York City.  (Off NBC.)
Status: On TBS' primetime schedule. Produced by: Warner Brothers Television

MEET THE BROWNS (SITCOM)
Tyler Perry sitcom based on the movie and play of the same name.
Status: On TBS' primetime schedule. Produced by: The Tyler Perry Company / Debmar-Mercury LLC

MY NAME IS EARL (SITCOM)
Sitcom follows a man who wins a small lottery, has an epiphany and sets out to right all the wrongs from his past. (Off NBC)
Status: On TBS' primetime schedule. Produced by: 20th Century Fox Television

THE OFFICE
(SITCOM)
Sitcom follows the daily interactions of a group of idiosyncratic office employees via a documentary film crew's cameras. (Off NBC)
Status: On TBS' primetime schedule. Produced by: Universal Studios Media / Reveille

TYLER PERRY'S HOUSE OF PAYNE
(SITCOM)
Syndicated sitcom focused on a multigenerational working-class family.
Status: On TBS' primetime schedule. Produced by: Debmar-Mercury LLC / The Tyler Perry Company

SEPTEMBER 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS

MEET THE BROWNS, FAMILY GUY

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

TBS runs original and off-net sitcoms in back-to back one or two hour blocks from Monday through Wednesday. Thursday and Friday start out with sitcoms that lead into a movie. Weekend prime is usually all movies, but this season of THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW runs on Saturday nights at 9PM.


UPCOMING PREMIERES:

LOPEZ TONIGHT: November, Monday - Thursday at 11PM.


RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

M18-49

W18-49

Monday 8-11pm

3%

38%

12%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-7%

7%

-9%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-2%

-20%

4%

Thursday 8-11pm

-15%

5%

-10%

Friday 8-11pm

-31%

-32%

-28%

Saturday 8-11pm

-32%

13%

-36%

Sunday 8-11pm

-23%

-27%

-16%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-16%

-1%

-13%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

TBS was still stuck in its summer slump this September. Alliteration aside, there are serious underlying forces at play here. After a not-so-great summer TBS had a not-so-great September. Movie titles are wearing out and the primetime schedule is looking tired.  On the positive side, weekday sitcoms show moderate growth. FAMILY GUY continues as a growing and driving force, and the network is retaining its young skew,

Mondays are the best rated night of the week for households and men, with FAMILY GUY setting the pace. MY NAME IS EARL comes on at 10 for a one-hour, slightly lower rated block of programming. Both shows are strong, with FAMILY GUY's Monday runs pulling in the highest ratings of the week, and both shows improving their ratings performance vs. year ago (+20%) and month ago (+10%) among core men 18-49.

Tuesdays also held up on the strength of two hours of FAMILY GUY. THE OFFICE comes in at 10PM as the second best rated program among men 18-49. THE OFFICE gained 10% higher ratings among core men 18-49 vs. last month, but lost 5% vs. last year. The program continues to drop women compared to last year's performance. This September's women 18-49 ratings are a full 45% lower than last year's.

MEET THE BROWNS is the only new program of significance on TBS' primetime lineup this year. While it doesn't have the draw of HOUSE OF PAYNE at its 07/08 peak, it remains the best-rated program among women, it is doing better than last month (+17%), and it is topping September 2008's HOUSE OF PAYNE encores. HOUSE OF PAYNE remains the dominant program on Wednesday nights, with four telecasts each week. HOUSE OF PAYNE drew in 14% better women 18-49 ratings than last month. However, the show is still not where it was, having dropped 19% from last year. It is easy to conclude that Tyler Perry fare is spreading thin, with HOUSE OF PAYNE in broader syndication and frequent movie runs on BET. However, for now, his programming continues to improve Wednesday night ratings vs. both last year (+4%) and last month (+14%), and deliver the best-rated night for women on TBS. 

FRIENDS is the standard lead-in to Thursday night movies. The program is the only sitcom outside the Tyler Perry fare to skew female, providing a natural lead-in to the network's large inventory of female-skewing movies. FRIENDS has shown a fairly steady performance, down just a bit from last month's strong showing.

THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW came to an unceremonious end this September. Buried on Saturday nights between two movies, the show never produced this season, and has been officially cancelled.

In the last week of September, which was also the first week of the new 09/10 broadcast season, TBS played around with its long-standing sitcom line-up. On Monday FAMILY GUY ran straight through primetime, knocking out EARL. Tuesday brought a full night of THE OFFICE. Wednesday stayed the same, but on Thursday FAMILY GUY bumped FRIENDS, and on Friday there was an MLB Regular Season game. With just one week of numbers and the broadcast premieres in the mix, it's nearly impossible to say if any of these moves were a success. But we can say that it looks like TBS has begun to test the waters...look for a new sitcom line-up soon!

Sitcoms are holding their own on TBS, not necessarily breaking records, but they generally succeed at hitting target demos. However, a big part of the TBS line-up is movies, and they did not perform this month. On average, this month's twelve "Prime Movies" lost 24% of last month's adult 18-49 ratings and 26% vs. last year. Losses were fairly even among men and women demos. The weekend movies had the most direct negative impact on the numbers, pulling down the bottom-line average.

Perhaps the biggest factor affecting TBS this year is the lack of new programming or new scheduling. Looking ahead, baseball playoffs should spike the numbers, and George Lopez premieres in latenight.  Perhaps they will start some much needed momentum, but no new plans for primetime have been announced for the near future.

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

In July, TBS ordered 20 additional episodes of TYLER PERRY'S HOUSE OF PAYNE, taking the sitcom's total number of episodes to 172. Originally premiering in 2006 with 10 episodes, TBS followed the successful test-run with an order for 90 more episodes, then two more orders of 26 episodes each, plus this current order. HOUSE OF PAYNE is owned by Perry, licensed by TBS and distributed by Debmar-Mercury. MEET THE BROWNS was licensed from Debmar-Mercury using the same business model.

ARE WE THERE YET?, which is loosely based on the movie of the same name, was ordered from Debmar-Mercury using the same business model as HOUSE OF PAYNE and MEET THE BROWNS. The sitcom is set to launch with 10 test episodes in June 2010, with the potential to add an additional 90 eps.

A TV-exclusive 13-title movie package was picked up from Warner Bros. In May 2009. Titles include Terminator Salvation (for TNT), Watchmen, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Gran Torino, The Hangover, The Informant and Sherlock Holmes. Each movie will air about 30 months after their theatrical releases, putting the start date at the end of 2011.

A Lionsgate deal was announced in April 2009, that will give TNT and TBS first network TV rights to The Bank Job, Transporter 3 and Crank: High Voltage, and more importantly for TBS, Tyler Perry movies Madea Goes to Jail and The Family That Preys in 2010 / 2011. Second-window rights were purchased for Disaster Movie and My Best Friend's Girl.

TNT and TBS signed up for theatrical prebuys for cable rights to New Line and Picturehouse titles: The Women,Journey to the Center of the Earth, 17 Again and Four Christmases.

TBS signed a Lionsgate deal valued between $8 and $10 million, which also included pre-buys. Titles include Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns (begins 2010) and Larry the Cable Guy's Witless Protection (begins 2010), allowing TBS to lock in those franchises. Other titles include Lord of War and In the Mix, which will become available this spring.

At the end of February '08, TBS and TNT completed a big movie purchase from WB. Among the titles likely to appear on TBS are Get Smart and Yes Man. TBS will be able to start running Ant Bully in June. The rest of the movies will trickle in to the two networks throughout 2010 and 2011.

A $12 million Lionsgate movie package was sold to TBS and sister network TNT, and includes titles such as Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married and Daddy's Little Girls (which aired on TBS in August '09), Bernie Mac's Pride and Bill Engvall's Delta Force.

Rush Hour 3 from New Line begins airing in 2010, Fracture begins in 2009.

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

MY BOYS renewed for a nine-episode fourth season, to air in 2010..


PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

No recent announcements.

Network Overview |  Performance/Schedule Analysis |  In Development
Strategic Opportunities |  Archives/Press |  TBS Website

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