TBS Performance/Schedule Analysis - December 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of January 23, 2009)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Adults 18-34, Adults 18-49 & Adults 25-54.

DECEMBER 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS

HOUSE OF PAYNE, FAMILY GUY, THE OFFICE

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

TBS runs original and off-net sitcoms in back-to back one or two hour blocks from Monday to halfway through Thursday. Friday is usually a one-hour block of off net sitcoms followed by a movie. Weekend prime is all movies.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2008:

Saturday was back to all movies, except one week where FAMILY GUY led into a movie. Other than the occasional stunt (24 hours of A Christmas Story, 2-hour HOUSE OF PAYNE block on Friday the 26th), the schedule was the same.

DECEMBER:
PREMIERES:
** December 3: TYLER PERRY'S HOUSE OF PAYNE new season premieres

JANUARY AND BEYOND:
PREMIERES:
** January 6, 2009 (late night - 11PM): 10 ITEMS OR LESS
** January 7, 2009 @ 10PM: MEET THE BROWNS debuts with 10 eps.
** January 25, 2009: SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS simulcast live with TNT
** March 2009: BILL ENGVALL & MY BOYS return with new seasons

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

Compared to last year, TBS gained a few men (+3%), lost some households (-9%) and lost even more women (-12% to -17%).

FAMILY GUY continues to dominate the line-up, expanding into Thursday, Friday and even Saturday nights. These extra runs, in combination with the HOUSE OF PAYNE block on a Friday and new movie titles (Talladega Nights, Anchorman) are what brought up the male numbers. Other than that, we see declines for THE OFFICE, HOUSE OF PAYNE and regular movie skeins.

We continue to see an overall decline in FAMILY GUY. Its 42 telecasts this month underperformed last year's run by ten to twenty percent. How much longer will the show be able to hold up the network? We are also seeing year-to-year decline in HOUSE OF PAYNE, even with the new episodes that started up this month. The addition of MEET THE BROWNS in January should help the program, and the line-up, as it finally gets a new program in primetime!

And we can't finish this analysis without checking in on the beloved holiday stunt - 24 Hours of A Christmas Story. For it's two primetime showings, the movie earned about +15% higher ratings this year over last.  The SEINFELD FESTIVUS special also aired both this year and last, but it dropped quite a bit. We'll see if it's back for the holidays in '09.


DECEMBER 2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

While year-ago comparisons were somewhat bleak for the network, TBS did pull out some impressive gains versus November. Bottom-line ratings were up +11% on households, +26% for men and +6% for women.

Both sitcoms and movies helped pull in the bigger audiences. For the most part, Monday and Tuesday nights showed less than 5% ratings movement. Despite year-to-year losses, FAMILY GUY's ratings were flat vs. last month. EARL also delivered about the same sized ratings month to month. THE OFFICE showed nice growth on Tuesdays, gaining +18% on women 18-49 ratings.

But it was Wednesdays, with the new HOUSE OF PAYNE episodes that really popped the numbers. Men 18-49 ratings nearly doubled, and women 18-49 ratings were up +67%. This bodes well for the spin-off, MEET THE BROWNS in January.

Thursdays also spiked. A lot. FRIENDS continues to gain traction, and two more showings of TheSanta Clause helped to bring up the night by about +60%.

TBS started rolling out its big movie guns last month (Wizard of Oz, Shrek, The Santa Clause), so this month's movies had a tough act to follow. The titles did well with men (+20% or so), and not as well with women (-20% or so).

At the end of the day, (or the month, or the year), TBS put up a solid performance. Some smart scheduling and fresh programming will be needed to keep those numbers up.

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

COMEDY FESTIVALS: TBS is strengthening its position as the new home for comedy festivals while HBO is turning away. TBS unveiled a new five-day Chicago summer festival, set to launch in 2009. And it just aired the fourth annual Comedy Festival in Las Vegas in November. "We're ready to dive into the festival arena full force," said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. "These events are a perfect opportunity for TBS to showcase some of the best talents in the comedy industry and to expand the reach of our brand in exciting new ways. We will use the festivals as a mike to talk to comedy fans in a 360-degree way all year and offer cross-platform marketing opportunities," he said. (Hollywood Reporter)

MOVIES: TNT and sister network TBS are joining the crowds on signing up for theatrical prebuys, obtaining the cable-TV rights to four high-visibility movies set for release by New Line and Picturehouse later this year: The Women, Journey to the Center of the Earth, the Zac Efron vehicle 17 Again and the Vince Vaughn-Reese Witherspoon comedy 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, with Nicolas Cage, and In the Mix, starring Usher, which will become available this spring.

At the end of February '08, TBS and TNT completed a big movie purchase from WB. As is the recent trend, many of the titles were bought on a pre-buy basis. Among the titles likely to appear on TBS are Get Smart, with Steve Carell, and Jim Carrey's 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, Bernie Mac's Pride and Bill Engvall's Delta Force.

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

LATEST PROGRAM RENEWALS:

MY BOYS and BILL ENGVALL have been renewed for their 3rd seasons, and are due to be back on the air in first quarter 2009.


LATEST PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

None.

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