NOVEMBER 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:
VH1 continues to have success with home-grown series, often built around Reality "stars" from earlier series (e.g. NEW YORK GOES TO WORK featuring a former FLAVOR OF LOVE contestant.) 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 their original series. Episodes of new series tend to receive multiple Prime plays during the week each epsidoe premieres.
Music-oriented fare continues to make its presence felt on VH1, with survey-oriented specials (100 GREATEST...) joining occasional new epsiodes of the venerable BEHIND THE MUSIC series, along with concert specials and documentaries.
NOVEMBER 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / November 2009 vs. November 2008 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
Unlike September and October which were essentially flat with last year, November was down significantly. Five nights experienced double-digit HH and demo losses from November 2008, while the week as a whole also dropped from last month's HH and demo delivery, albeit not quite as sharply.
The number of Prime timeslots which enjoyed uninterrupted series scheduling dropped from four in October to two in November Only the premiering I WANT TO WORK FOR DIDDY 2 (MO/10p) and SEX REHAB WITH DR. DREW (SU/10p) ran uninterruppted.
Monday's bright spot was the season finale of REAL CHANCE OF LOVE 2, which was by far the top offering of the month on VH1, outstripping the average ratings by over 360% for HH and P18-49. This was the only night to grow from last month, as new 10P series I WANT TO WORK FOR DIDDY 2 held 3/4 of FOR THE LOVE OF RAY J 2's lead-in.
Tuesdays featured a mixed bag of series and specials, with repeats of FOR THE LOVE OF RAY J 2 earning top honors for the evening.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights offered a variety of music-oriented specials mixed with a few repeats and movies. The sole bright spot was two runs of the movie DRUMLINE on Wednesday and Thursday.
Movie-centric Saturday also benefited from a run of DRUMLINE, which, along with the venerable holiday-themed TRADING PLACES, took top movie honors for the Network.
The final two new episodes of TOOL ACADEMY 2 at 9p on Sundays combined with the premiere of SEX REHAB WITH DR. DREW at 10p to double VH1's HH and demo rating averages for the month. Once TOOL ACADEMY 2 bid farewll, though, subsequent new episodes of SEX REHAB dropped form week to week, with a slight rebound on the final Sunday of the month. Overall the new series roughly equalled the delivery of previous time period occupant MY ANTONIO.
CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:
VH1 has been extremely successful in the creation of an entirely new genre of programming. Coining the phrase Celebreality, Vh1 has created several hit shows revolving around celebrities, past and present, and their "real" lives.
So now, the task at hand is to determine how they can expand beyond what's expected - and reach out to an even broader audience. It's great to have programs that are celebrity-based, but anything that has amazing characters, tells a good story, and does it in a compelling way, is going to interest the net.
VH1's Celebreality hits have received a lot of attention and ratings success. The network, however, continues to expand upon their brand to bring unique documentaries and interesting pop culture and music-related series to air.
VH1 has said that they are actively looking for documentaries in their ROCK DOC block. They are looking for "intimate stories," "iconic characters" (namely 60s and 70s icons), and intelligent documentaries that aren't afraid to take chances. Think "big stories" told through a "small narrative," too.
In addition, they're looking to expand beyond just Celebreality. TOOL ACADEMY and THE PICK-UP ARTIST were a fairly big successes for the network and they're looking for the next version of that.