VH1 continues to concentrate on home-grown series, often built around Reality "stars" from earlier series (e.g. LA LA'S FULL COURT LIFE featuring a former BASKETBALL WIVES character.) VH1's Primetime lineup is very fluid in nature, leading to a lot of "Various" programs on their schedule grid.
VH1 will occasionally stack night of programming and air episodes of the same show back-to-back-to-back. This can prove extremely successful for them, especially when they use these mini-marathons to premiere the latest episodes of a successful original series. Episodes of new series tend to receive multiple Prime plays during the week each episode premieres.
Music-oriented fare continues to make its presence felt on VH1, with survey-oriented specials (100 GREATEST...) joining occasional new episodes of the venerable BEHIND THE MUSIC series, along with concert specials and documentaries. Urban-appeal theatrical films, many with strong musical components, are also delivering above-average ratings to the Network.
MARCH 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / March 2012 vs. March 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
Phenomenal demo growth on Monday, combined with strong results Thursday kept VH1 in the winning column in March for the tenth month in a row. Despite this, VH1 suffered significant demo losses on Friday and Sunday. Monday's powerhouse lineup added two new series without missing a beat, with STYLED BY JUNE and LA LA'S FULL COURT LIFE 2 both debuting in the top 4, joining LOVE & HIP HOP and T.I. & TINY, the two series they nearly seamlessly replaced.
Annual overall demo growth continued to decline for the second month in a row, as March's annual improvement was but 1/3 of the increase VH1 earned in February 2012.
Monday's tandem of 8pm BASKETBALL WIVES 4 and 9pm T.I. & TINY continued to work together like a well-oiled machine through the latter series' finale in Week 3. HH and demos remained consistent in Week 4 when STYLED BY JUNE and LA LA'S FULL COURT LIFE 2 joined the line-up. Overall, Monday's delivery was more than double that of 2011, and both HH and A18-49 grew 20% over February.
Tuesdays were down modestly from last year and flat with last month. Repeat episodes of T.I. & TINY and LA LA'S FULL COURT LIFE 2 were the strongest performers among the variety of programs that VH1 slotted on Tuesdays in March.
T.I. & TINY repeats were the top demo performers among Wednesday's mix of series episodes, specials and Movies. HH delivery was down slightly from last year and last month.
Thursday benefited from new Hip-Hop-oriented episodes of BEHIND THE MUSIC. Combined with repeats of LOVE & HIP HOP 2, and another run of the movie ATL, Thursday was up nearly 40% in the demo over last year, and flat with February.
The key weekend story was the inability of any of the Sunday 9pm programs to hold the 8pm MOB WIVES 2 lead-in. Weekends featured the debut of two new series STEVIE TV and HOUSE OF CONSIGNMENT, both of which tended to lose significant viewership from their respective lead-in, especially on Sunday at 9pm. Specials helped drive the little weekend growth that there was, with 40 GREATEST FEUDS and100 GREATEST SONGS OF THE 00's scoring above average.
While Sunday 8pm MOB WIVES 2 delivered consistently from week to week, the night as a whole lost nearly 1/3 of the March RA18-49. from its average last month.