TruTV Analysis - Broadcasting & Cable

TruTV Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

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.

MARCH 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

M18-49

M25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-15%

-13%

-20%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-19%

-23%

-19%

Wednesday 8-11p

-23%

-19%

-25%

Thursday 8-11pm

-15%

-12%

-6%

Friday 8-11pm

-31%

-29%

-31%

Saturday 8-11pm11

10%

9%

20%

Sunday 8-11pm

-15%

-13%

-14%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-15%

-13%

-19%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

While truTV was down from last year, the network’s ratings were up significantly from the month before.  This dichotomy is a result of truTV’s coverage of the NCAA Tournament – the second time the network has covered the event.  While viewership of the tournament was largely down from last year, March Madness boosted the network’s numbers relative to February.

Various NCAA matchups were scattered throughout truTV’s list of top programs. The Thursday March 15 game between UNLV and Colorado was the most watched game for the network.   While the tournament didn’t produce as many viewers for truTV as 2011, male viewership was clearly up.  Sunday was the greatest beneficiary of the tournament from a monthly standpoint – viewership among men 18-49 rose a full 86%.

As far as truTV’s standard programming was concerned, HARDCORE PAWN was once again at the front of the pack.  After a hiatus of little over a month, truTV’s banner program returned for its sixth season.  The season premiere and subsequent episodes were gobbled up by fans, making Tuesdays the strongest night for the network.

All told, PAWN claimed over half the spots on the network’s top 20 telecasts for the month.  Male viewership for the program was very impressive – the audience for the highest rated PAWN telecasts far outstripped the network’s highest rated NCAA game coverage.  PAWN also served as a phenomenal lead in for STORAGE HUNTERS.  The show, which aired reruns throughout the month, fared better than many programs featuring brand new episodes.

LIZARD LICK TOWING had the same number of telecasts as PAWN (24) but didn’t quite post the same ratings.  Still, TOWING was responsible for making Mondays the network’s second most popular night in primetime.

The middle of the week was mainly comprised of OPERATION REPO and SOUTH BEACH TOW (Wednesday).  In addition to sharing similar themes, reality shows REPO and TOW shared similar ratings among men as well.  Both programs ranked in the middle of the pack, beating out relatively new show IMPRACTICAL JOKERS and the debut of the food based reality show WIENERS CIRCLE.

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

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