PxPixel
TruTV Performance/Schedule Analysis - August 2009 - Broadcasting & Cable

TruTV Performance/Schedule Analysis - August 2009

Author:
Publish date:

PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of September 21, 2009)

CURRENT AND SIGNATURE PROGRAMS:

BLACK GOLD (NON-FICTION)
Wildcatters, Texas oil prospectors searching for riches.  Follows several of them and their crews of roughnecks as they risk hundreds of thousands of dollars and their lives setting up rigs in an attempt to strike oil.
Status: Season 2 premiered in August.  Produced by Original Productions

COPS (REALITY)
A completely unfiltered look at law enforcement on the streets, COPS changed television by taking cameras into real-life police situations. Each episode travels to a different US city.
Status: Currently airing.  Off-net acquisition.

DOMINICK DUNNE'S POWER, PRIVILEGE AND JUSTICE (NON-FICTION)
The famed Vanity Fair contributor and foremost expert of society's elite, Dominick Dunne shares his unique access to true stories of prominent and powerful people who fall from grace and are brought to justice. (Full Disclosure: CABLEready, sister company of CableU, distributes DOMINICK DUNNE internationally.)
Status: Currently airing.

FORENSIC FILES (NON-FICTION)
Each episode profiles one criminal case and follows forensic experts as they piece together the crime puzzle with every piece of evidence available. (Full Disclosure: CABLEready, sister company of CableU, developed and sold FORENSIC FILES to Court TV/truTV -- and distributes the show interntationally.)
Status: Currently airing.

MOST SHOCKING (REALITY)
Showcases crimes caught on tape; themes include Most Shocking Police Shootouts, Most Shocking Dangerous Drivers and more.
Status: Currently airing.

PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE (NON-FICTION)
Follows school administrators across several schools as they deal with unruly students.
Status: Season 2 currently airing.  Produced by Leftfield Pictures.

SMOKING GUN PRESENTS (NON-FICTION)
Teaming up with the infamous website, experts and entertainers offer commentary as they countdown the dumbest criminals caught on tape.
Status: Currently airing.

SPEEDERS (NON-FICTION)
Following officers coast to coast, get a first-hand look as cops pull over surprised motorists that challenge the speedometer.
Status: Currently airing.

AUGUST 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

BAIT CAR, OPERATION REPO, PARTY HEAT, BLACK GOLD, COPS, INSIDE, MOST SHOCKING, SMOKING GUN PRESENTS, SPEEDERS

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Original series dominate TruTV's primetime schedule.  The only acquired program is COPS. Since most of their series provide a different take in the area of criminal law and justice, there are no thematic evenings distinct from one another, rather a relatively even distribution of original series.  A heavy reliance on FORENSIC FILES and a handful of other series dominates 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 MOST SHOCKING, 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 has been replaced with a broader, non-fiction/reality mix of programs.  While the existing base of crime series continues, new programming explores topics as diverse as oil wildcatters, poolside waitresses in Las Vegas, and repo men.


UPCOMING PREMIERES:

** September 1 - REHAB: PARTY AT THE HARD ROCK (Season 2)
** October 1 - SPEEDERS FIGHT BACK
** October 1 - SMOKING GUN PRESENTS
** October 19 - ALL WORKED UP

AUGUST 2009 RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison: 
August 2009 vs. August 2008  (% Change)

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

26%

46%

38%

Tuesday 8-11pm

26%

32%

21%

Wednesday 8-11pm

8%

15%

8%

Thursday 8-11pm

-1%

-3%

0%

Friday 8-11pm

4%

8%

7%

Saturday 8-11pm

-23%

28%

3%

Sunday 8-11pm

18%

27%

15%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

8%

22%

14%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

So much good news, so many reasons.  Target male demos are up 30% for the younger 18-49 group, and 24% for the 25-54 gang.  Even women are up on this male targeted net.  Total audiences are up 8%, and median age dropped 6%, an unusual mix, but one that's welcomed by any programmer.  Grow your audience, get younger.  Two attributes for success in this business.  Throw in a very weak 2008 as a basis for comparison, a hit series that keeps getting better on Mondays, and a long time coming, strategic turnaround that's boosting Saturdays and you end up with the strongest month since January. 

Looking ahead, September and October were also pretty dreadful in 2008.  Expect some nice annual increases for the next couple months as a result.

Switching to individual programs, OPERATION REPO picked up the pace this month.  Landing the network's top spot for demos has become a regular occurance and August was no exception for men 18-49.  The series doubled last year's numbers.  More important, it jumped 10% from July, a good sign that it's not wearing out any time soon.  REPO continues to make Monday the strongest night on the schedule.  In addition, episodic repeats are giving Tuesdays an anchor series from which to build. 

BLACK GOLD was back for a second season this month.  How important was it to the net?  They stacked episodes of top rated OPERATION REPO as the lead-in for opening night.  Seemed to work as the premiere episode grabbed some solid numbers for target men.  Week 2 didn't hold that momentum though, with ratings dropping by a third.  Editorially, this season's focus has shifted towards the guys working the rigs, with a peak into their time off the clock.  Lots more male egos and testosterone mixed with a healthy batch of bleeping.  Less info and how an oil rig works.  We still think it's a good series, but might be an editorial island on this network for another year.

BAIT CAR runs a few episodes and lands the top spot for M25-54.  Tough to do with OPERATION REPO dominating everything these days.  With just a repeat line-up, PARTY HEAT grew significantly with younger men, pushing Tuesdays up big time.

COPS, MOST SHOCKING, SPEEDERS, and FORENSIC FILES were all up from last year in the all important male demos.  Spreading that kind of wealth across the week, it's no wonder there's a good story just about anywhere you look on the schedule.

Finally, the Saturday express continues.  Don't let that 23% drop in HH fool you.  That's entirely the 55+ audience.  Men are up 75% or more versus last year.  Median age is down an astounding 18% for the night.  Overall numbers still land below average, but the night is no longer the black hole it was through most of 2008.


PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

None announced.

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

REHAB: PARTY AT THE HARD ROCK (9/09); SPEEDERS FIGHT BACK (10/09); SMOKING GUN PRESENTS (10/09); OPERATION REPO (11/09)

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

Related