Sunday through Wednesday is TNT's primary focus, where the network has attempted to run original series throughout the year. BONES and (usually) LAW & ORDER have become a big part of the schedule, trying to hold up the Monday through Wednesday originals. NBA runs on Thursdays, when it's the season, otherwise it's an off-net crime drama and/or a movie. Theatricals dominate Friday and Saturday, plus Sundays when originals are not running.
OCTOBER 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / October 2011 vs October 2010 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
OCTOBER 2011: Year after year we see that October is one of the worst bottom line primetime ratings months for TNT. As sister network TBS racks up the viewers with its post-season MLB games, TNT’s audience dwindles. With this year’s NBA lock-out, TNT was dealt a serious blow, and October 2011 marks the worst rated month on our records. Live primetime household ratings dipped below a 1.0; the only other time we have seen TNT’s bottom line drop below that level was October 2009.
A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME
Last year NBA games were the top rated program on TNT. This year the only program able to deliver an average 1.0 HH rating or better, and the only program to show an increase vs. last year was spill-over MLB games from TBS. The rest of the line-up suffered vs. both last year and last month.
THE CLOSE OF THE CLOSER
THE CLOSER was the only TNT original on the air this month. The last new episode to air was on September 12th, so we expected to see a ratings decline vs. last month, but perhaps not the 60% loss it took on women 25-54. The year over year comparison, with its 19% drop is more apples to apples, since the program was airing all encores last year as well.
ACQUIRED CRIME STACKS UP BUT FALLS DOWN IN RATINGS
Off net crime series remain a major component of TNT’s line-up, particularly in the bridge seasons of fall and spring. This October TNT primetime was filled with stacks of BONES, LAW & ORDER and CSI:NY, each of which dropped core adult 25-54 ratings from last year (-26%, -13% and –6% respectively). THE MENTALIST, the newest acquired crime series on TNT was also in play this month, delivering better household ratings than the other three acquired series, but placing third on adults 25-54. (CSI:NY delivered the lowest adult 25-54 ratings). TNT tends to schedule each of the four series as stacks, rather than stripping them through the week.
MOVIES ARE THE BIG PICTURE
With 26 movies airing entirely within primetime, theatricals had the biggest presence on TNT this month. As a whole, they had the smallest average household rating on the line-up, but the best demo ratings across the board, behind the MLB Division Series games. However, without the benefit of the cross-promotion they usually get from NBA games, ratings were down by about 25% vs. last year. Top performing titles were Shrek, Shrek 2 and The Longest Yard.