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TBS Performance/Schedule Analysis - August 2009 - Broadcasting & Cable

TBS Performance/Schedule Analysis - August 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of September 22, 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'(Tm) primetime schedule. Produced by: 20th Century Fox

FRIENDS (SITCOM)
Sitcom about group of friends in New York City.  (Off NBC.)
Status: On TBS'(Tm) 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'(Tm) 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'(Tm) 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'(Tm) 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

AUGUST 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: 
August 2009 vs. August 2008(% Change)

HH

M18-49

W18-49

Monday 8-11pm

2%

21%

-15%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-5%

6%

-13%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-28%

-26%

-31%

Thursday 8-11pm

-9%

-16%

4%

Friday 8-11pm

14%

44%

37%

Saturday 8-11pm

-9%

-17%

-14%

Sunday 8-11pm

30%

13%

40%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-2%

3%

-4%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

August 2009 brought TBS some of its best numbers since April.  But that statement needs some perspective. The network is still not performing at the strong levels it was achieving for all of last year. August was TBS'(Tm) (and much of cable's) lowest rated month of 2008, due to audience-grabbing Olympics and presidential election coverage. Without any major competition this August, TBS'(Tm) bottom-line ratings are virtually the same as last year's low-rated August.

There has not been much new primetime fare on TBS, and the audience has been slipping away. Broadly speaking, TBS is typically not a strong summer player, with fourth and first quarters usually pulling in the best numbers of the year. The network has been particularly quiet this summer, leaving the spotlight on sister network TNT as it launched three nights of original dramas. But, August brought some new episodes of MEET THE BROWNS and some high-scoring theatricals to the TBS line-up, and viewers responded in kind, edging the network up in the right direction,

To paint the big picture, compared to last year, Monday/Tuesday sitcoms are up for men and down for women. Movies are up a little for men (+3%), and up a lot for women (+16%). New episodes of MEET THE BROWNS helped Wednesdays vs. last month, but the program is not the blockbuster performer that HOUSE OF PAYNE was a year ago.

FAMILY GUY is still the foundation on which the current TBS is built, consistently dominating the network's top-rated telecasts list. With 10 runs each week, it is the most scheduled program on the lineup. It is the dominant force on the Monday and Tuesday night male-skewing sitcom blocks, and has given a boost to Friday night movies. It is by far the best performer on the network among men. And after all that air-time, plus a strong presence in syndication and Cartoon Network, the program continues to draw more and more young male viewers. Compared to last month, FAMILY GUY's men 18-49 ratings are up by 4% and compared to last year they are up by 10%.

Following FAMILY GUY on Mondays is male-skewing MY NAME IS EARL, and on Tuesdays is male-skewing THE OFFICE. Compared to last year, both programs are up slightly among men and down dramatically among women, Compared to last month the ratings needle moved less than 5% in either direction, for either demo.

Wednesday is Tyler Perry night on TBS, with an hour of MEET THE BROWNS sandwiched between two hours of HOUSE OF PAYNE.  HOUSE OF PAYNE has lost over 30% of its women 18-49 ratings since last year. (It is no longer exclusive to TBS since the syndication window opened, and it is still in repeats, although 20 more eps have been ordered).  FRIENDS, the PRIME MOVIE average and the DINNER AND A MOVIE average are all topping this former front-runner among women. MEET THE BROWNS, the HOUSE OF PAYNE "spin-off," is now the number one show among women on TBS. However, even with new episodes, it is not the female ratings stronghold that HOUSE OF PAYNE once was.

On Thursdays, FRIENDS continues to hold up the night, with a two-hour block leading into a movie. FRIENDS'(Tm) women 18-49 performance improved by 15% vs. last month, and fell 3% vs. last year. The long-running off-net sitcom generally tops the movie each Thursday among both men and women, with one notable exception this month: You, Me and Dupree.

Friday was the most-improved night vs. last year and the second-most improved vs. last month. (The Friday night audience was more than 20% younger and 40% bigger compared to both month ago and year ago). The difference vs. last year (besides no Olympics) was the addition of the FAMILY GUY block from 8-9PM before DINNER AND A MOVIE. The difference vs. last month was improved movie titles.

TBS continued to bury THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW on Saturday nights between two movies. Not surprisingly, even fewer people turned up for the show this August than last month (-21% adult 18-49 ratings) or last year (-53% adult 18-49 ratings).

Sundays brought TBS the best ratings of the week for both households and women. (Mondays and Tuesdays rule for men)/ Strong movie titles were at work here, with Daddy's Little Girls, Madeas Famly Reunion and the ever-reliable Hitch leading the way.

What will the next few months bring? TBS pres. Michael Wright has gone on record saying he will not compete against the fall broadcast fanfare. MLB Playoffs in October will once again be the highlight of TBS'(Tm) ratings year, and hopefully the network can springboard off those numbers onto a better ratings plateau. George Lopez is set to launch his latenight show in November, but no new plans for primetime have been announced for 2009.

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 Sherolock 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.

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