TruTV Analysis - Broadcasting & Cable

TruTV Analysis

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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,  programming explores topics as diverse as oil wildcatters, poolside waitresses in Las Vegas, and repo men.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison February 2012 vs. February 2011 (% Change)




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MTWTFSS 8-11pm




Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

TruTV experienced a pronounced dip in both the yearly and monthly ratings this past February.   A central culprit behind this underperformance appears to be OPERATION REPO.  Tallying a total of 28 telecasts for the month, OPERATION REPO was significantly down this February.  While premiere episodes of REPO fared well, the abundance of reruns contributed to the dearth of viewers.

On the flip side of the coin, brand new show CAUGHT RED HANDED aired only two episodes and was the network’s top rated show for the month.  RED features purportedly “real” footage of shoplifters caught in the act.  The show’s ability to land the top spot was partially due to the slowness of the month.

HARDCORE PAWN was another (usually) high-rated show that fell short of the mark.  PAWN was down 16% when compared to last year.  Like REPO, the show also suffered somewhat from being overextended.

Not all the network’s programs were down, however.  STORAGE HUNTERS, which aired on Tuesday nights, managed to improve slightly.  Overall, HUNTERS placed a total of three episodes within the month’s top ten telecasts.

While FULL THROTTLE SALOON’S total ratings were unimpressive – the show finished dead last among truTV’s lineup – its single new episode for the month fared very well among men.  The lone premiere of the show was the #1 basic cable program in its timeslot among adults 18-49.

Ratings for new show IMPRACTICAL JOKERS remained largely unchanged.  The show aired a special on the 2nd that fared slightly better than the series proper.

Meanwhile, WIPEOUT remained the only program with female ratings that were almost on par with male viewership.  Though the show is an odd fit for the network, WIPEOUT has continued to deliver strong numbers for truTV since being acquired.

As per usual, WORLD’S DUMBEST and BAIT CAR ended up near the bottom of the list.