TruTV Analysis

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Original series dominate truTV's primetime schedule.   On a given night, a single original series will tend to run in a solid block throughout primetime.  There's a heavy reliance on blue collar reality (HARDCORE PAWN, OPERATION REPO, etc), while comedic video clip properties and a handful of other series fill out the remainder of the schedule.

As new series are introduced to the schedule, the network creates a few generic slots across the week for repeats.  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 move it into a regular timeslot.

Since its 2008 rebranding, truTV's has maintained a dedication to reality programming with a special focus on repo and pawning.  Recently the network has incorporated more unscripted comedy to complement its existing reality fare.


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




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Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Once again, truTV displayed very little change in the ratings from any significant standpoint. There was zero overall fluctuation from last year while men in both the 18 – 49 and 25 – 54 demos were down 7% from last month.

The network has HARDCORE PAWN – the rock of its schedule – to thank for its long-lasting consistency. True to form, PAWN was the channel’s highest rated show of the month. Additionally, the show boosted Tuesday nights 5% above last year’s primetime rating (which also featured PAWN) among men 25 – 54. The show was also up 12% from last month among men 18 - 49.

The show’s role in the network’s success can’t be overstated. Of the network’s top 20 telecasts for the month, 17 of them were PAWN episodes. All told, the show aired a total of 38 episodes – and still managed to be September’s highest rated show for truTV.

Following a successful run earlier this year, IMPRACTICAL JOKERS returned on Thursdays for its second season. The prank show appears to be thriving on the network – the night was up 31% (monthly) and 21% (yearly) among men 18-49. These numbers show a clear comparison of viewer interest between JOKERS and the programs that aired last month and last year – WORLD’S DUMBEST and TOP 20 MOST SHOCKING. This ratings jump is very indicative of the future of truTV.

Over the passed few years, truTV has relied on clip show comedies to complement its base of blue-collar reality shows. Lately, the network has been fruitfully expanding its comedy purview. Expect more ambitious comedy projects in truTV’s future.

OPERATION REPO, now in its tenth season, continued to prove its staying power this September. REPO was the second most watched program for the month, pulling in good numbers among men 18 – 49.

LIZARD LICK TOWING featured a single episode for the month – its season 3 finale. The episode had the distinction of being the sole September telecast to break PAWN’s sway over the network’s list of top ten telecasts.

STORAGE HUNTERS also closed out its season in early September and fared respectably, doing best among men in the 25 -54 demo.

Meanwhile, acquisition WIPEOUT was down 39% and 38% among men 18 – 49 and 35 – 52 respectively.