Original series dominate TruTV's primetime schedule. The only acquired program is COPS. There are no thematic evenings distinct from one another, rather a relatively even distribution of original series. A heavy reliance on OPERATION REPO, comedic video clip properties, and a handful of other series dominate the schedule.
As new series are introduced to the schedule, the network created a few generic slots across the week for repeats. The additional exhibitions in short bursts of 2-4 weeks give their new titles a chance to gain recognition with the casual viewer. When a series does break out, like OPERATION REPO, they have moved it into a regular timeslot.
With the transition of the network to TruTv at the beginning of 2008, the crime and investigation focus was replaced with a broader, non-fiction/reality mix of programs. While a small base of crime series continues, new programming explores topics as diverse as oil wildcatters, poolside waitresses in Las Vegas, and repo men.
DECEMBER 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison December 2011 vs. December 2010 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
TruTV finally curbed its recent decline with a monthly and yearly ratings turnaround. Among other things, the network certainly benefited from the return of hit LIZARD LICK TOWING.
The fan favorite opened its second season in early December and delivered strong ratings throughout the month. While the show couldn’t sustain its second season premiere high (up a full 30% from the series premiere), LIZARD still performed impressively. LIZARD was truTV’s top program for December and helped bump Monday night’s monthly and yearly averages by 71% and 20% respectively among men 25-54.
While LIZARD was the overall ratings winner, HARDCORE PAWN had the top two telecasts for December. Additionally, Tuesday nights – which aired premiere episodes of PAWN – earned the best household ratings of the week. Viewership for the night was especially high among men aged 18-49. This popularity with a younger audience is indicative of truTV’s viewing trend throughout 2011. According to a press release distributed by the network, truTV enjoyed its youngest annual median viewing age (43).
FULL THROTTLE SALOON kept the ratings machine rolling, garnering very positive numbers. Wednesdays featured premiere episodes of SALOON and enjoyed the network’s highest average ratings among men in both main age demos. Wednesdays also experienced the highest jumps in both monthly and yearly change. The night was also bolstered by premiere episodes of BLACK GOLD. Now in its fourth season, GOLD has proven a formidable component of truTV’s lineup. The show’s ratings are comparable to the network’s most successful projects.
IMPRACTICAL JOKERS debuted on the 15th to a very warm reception. While JOKERS didn’t have quite the same ratings as truTV’s established hits, reaction to the show was very promising.
JOKERS is a slight departure from truTV’s current cache of blue collar reality. TruTV’s recent programming choices have not strayed far from tried and true concepts like pawn and repo. A prank show like JOKERS was a calculated risk that ultimately paid off with new young viewers.
OPERATION REPO managed to have a decent month despite the lack of any new episodes. REPO beat out acquired show WIPEPOUT by a slim margin.
While STORAGE HUNTERS was only the tenth most watched show, this placement is misleading considering a full 17 episodes of the show aired in December. All three of the new episodes found a place in the list of top ten telecasts for the month.
Clip show TOP 20 MOST SHOCKING – which aired on Saturdays – was the weakest link.