TLC Analysis - September 2011 - Broadcasting & Cable

TLC Analysis - September 2011

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SEPTEMBER 2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

* Bold denotes programming change

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

TLC, which does occasional topical specials like the recent  EXTREME COUPONING and WILLIAM & KATE: A ROYAL LOVE STORY.  The schedule tends toward stacking by theme or editorial sensibility, rather than by title alone. They do not strip. Weekends carry mostly one-off hours, off-network news-magazine reversions and, most recently a few specials.

SEPTEMBER 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / September 2011 vs. September 2010 (% Change)

HH

F18-49

F25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-15%

-6%

-13%

Tuesday 8-11pm

0%

7%

0%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-18%

-20%

-23%

Thursday 8-11pm

-38%

-17%

-25%

Friday 8-11pm

-19%

-9%

-19%

Saturday 8-11pm

-15%

-13%

-13%

Sunday 8-11pm

-13%

-11%

-11%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-15%

-13%

-13%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

September was a subpar month for TLC as it suffered a dive in both the monthly and yearly ratings.  Yet, despite the general lull, there were a few positives for the network.

SISTER WIVES – which aired a single premiere episode in September – enjoyed having the best single telecast as well as the highest rated program overall.  SISTER’s ratings were highest among women aged 25-54 but viewership among the younger female demographic were not markedly less.  The September episode of SISTER (the 19th episode of the series overall) also garnered the highest ratings for the show ever.   In October, the show will return to the typical episode per week format of release.

The topical tribute 9/11 HEROES OF THE 88TH FLOOR also performed well.  While female viewership was less than extraordinary, the program had a surprisingly strong draw among men (comparative to other network shows.)  The solid audience among men in both the 18-49 and 25-49 age demographic helped boost HEROES to the second spot among the list of top TLC programming.

LONG ISLAND MEDIUM was another bright spot amid the generally weak month.  The show – which premiered on the 25th – fared better than the majority of the network’s established shows.  The show was especially strong among women aged 18-25 and helped make Sundays the highest rated night of the week.  It remains to be seen if MEDIUM can sustain these ratings or if curiosity will simply wear off.

Fridays were the second strongest night of the week thanks in part to the four premiere episodes of FOUR WEDDINGS.  Sundays were also boosted by SAY YES TO THE ADDRESS: ATLANTA.  While the spinoff has not reached the heights of the original SAY YES, the show does well for the network.

KATE PLUS 8 met its end this September to mild fanfare.  The finale received lukewarm reviews considering it was the curtain call for a once prominent show.

The rest of TLC’s lineup was neither staggeringly positive nor overwhelmingly poor.

One claim in a recent TLC press release sums up the network fairly well: “In the first half of 2011, TLC had 23 series averaging 1.0 million viewers or more…”  A long list of programming that all manage to do well without any outstanding outliers.

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