TruTV Analysis



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 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 November 2012 vs. November 2011 (% Change)




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Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

All in all, truTV had a disappointing November with both monthly and yearly ratings down. Despite the overall decline, HARDCORE PAWN served as a bright spot for the network.

Just as the sun will rise in the east, PAWN will deliver viewers for truTV. Tuesdays, which featured PAWN, was the only night of the week to improve upon last month with male viewers. Tuesdays also rose 7% among men 25 – 54 compared to last year (which also featured premiere episodes of PAWN).

PAWN’S two premiere November episodes (the third episode, which aired on the 27th will be counted towards December by Nielsen) were the top rated telecasts of the month. Despite only two new November episodes recorded by Nielsen, PAWN claimed the top seven telecast spots for the network. In other words, five rerun episodes of PAWN beat out everything else on truTV’s programming slate. truTV aired a total of 34 PAWN episodes throughout the month.

Though it was no PAWN, SOUTH BEACH TOW (which aired on Wednesdays) also enjoyed a strong November. Ratings for TOW’s premiere episodes were only a hair below PAWN’s reruns – which is actually saying something. Wednesdays were the second most popular night of the week, and were especially strong with men 18 – 49.

CAUGHT RED HANDED premiered this November and added yet another trade based reality show to truTV’s expanding collection. CAUGHT, which features loss prevention agents, managed to do better than a premiere episode of TOW. The ratings for the show thus far have been encouraging: it beat out roughly 70% of truTV’s programs in November.

Collectively, the second most popular program for the month was OPERATION REPO. More than anything, it earned this distinction because of how few reruns it had (2) and not because it had phenomenal premiere ratings.

CONSPIRACY THEORY WITH JESSE VENTURA returned to truTV after a nearly two year hiatus. The ratings for the show were fair ratings but the show was down from the last time it aired back in December 2010.

The introduction of the Steve-O hosted KILLER KARAOKE served as a major departure for the network as well as an indication of things to come. As an original gameshow, KARAOKE is a far cry from the network’s usual fare.

Unfortunately the ratings in all demographics were somewhat subpar. Nevertheless, trutTV has already greenlit another game show entitled GUINNESS WORLD RECRODS GONE WILD.

COACHES VS. CANCER – a college basketball tournament – was the least watched program of the month.