TLC Analysis - September 2010

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SEPTEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

* Bold denotes programming change

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

TLC, which does occasional topical specials like the recent  MICHAEL JACKSON'S KIDS and an updated TIGER WOODS Special.  The schedule tends toward stacking by theme or editorial sensibility, rather than by title alone. They do not strip. Only one night is reliably themed: Turbo Thursdays are very male - AMERICAN CHOPPER and BBQ PITMASTERS dominate there, at the moment.  LA INK was moved to Wednesday nights for it's newest season. Weekends carry mostly one-off hours, off-network newsmagazine reversions and, most recently a few specials.

SEPTEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / September 2010 vs. September 2009 (% Change)

HH

F18-49

F25-54

Monday 8-11pm

10%

0%

4%

Tuesday 8-11pm

11%

17%

19%

Wednesday 8-11pm

7%

9%

7%

Thursday 8-11pm

-11%

-40%

-28%

Friday 8-11pm

19%

5%

22%

Saturday 8-11pm

38%

22%

36%

Sunday 8-11pm

34%

60%

46%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

13%

6%

15%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Kate Gosselin was back on Monday nights in September for TLC and helped year-to-year growth on Mondays for the first time in months.  The downside is that the Gosselin brood was not on the air last September and the ratings this time are more modest. QUINTS BY SURPRISE made a respectable lead-out for KATE PLUS 8 at 10pm on Mondays.

 Thursdays took the biggest hit ratings wise from last year because the schedule shifted to male themed programs AMERICAN CHOPPER and BBQ PITMASTERS.  The losses were primarily in the female demos due the move of LA INK to Wednesdays.

 Saturdays stack strategy worked really well this month, delivering  double-digit growth in most key demos.  Sunday was the growth winner in September driven by consistently strong numbers for HOARDING: BURIED ALIVE.  FREAKY EATERS dropped from the HOARDING lead-in but was decent in its three airings.

 It only had one Primetime airing but the early results for SISTER WIVES may be a good trend of things to come.

CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:

If this network has had a very, very wild ride in the last 12 months, it's only stronger for it. They rode the JON & KATE PLUS 8 bucking bronco for all it was worth - and as measured by ratings alone, it was worth a lot. While the schedule was an unpredictable mess for a while (it sometimes felt like Jon & Kate & Whatever Else We Have Lying Around), it turns out some solid series were developing or coming into themselves at the same time.  18 KIDS AND COUNTING, LITTLE PEOPLE, BIG WORLD and CAKE BOSS.  Character-driven family and ensemble casts are in favor here. You'll notice many series are structured to work without a narrator, but this does not suggest lazy production. Good episodes of any of TLC's successful series are driven by very solid, logical, emotional storytelling. An executive with highly respected scheduling skills and development instincts joined upper management here recently. Executives at this network will know what they want, and have a well above average ability to articulate this. Seek them out. Trust what they say. Watch their air carefully. Better still, follow them closely, right here!

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