WE tv Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

This most female of networks runs a structurally very predictable and stable schedule. Most nights if you like what's on at 8pm, you'll like the whole evening, for they stack as heavily as virtually any network out there. Often, the same series title will run for an entire evening. The range of programming is very wide, with original series related to weddings taking up a lot of real estate (MY FAIR WEDDING, BRIDEZILLAS, AMAZING WEDDING CAKES). Off-network newsmagazine reversions are a popular staple, and THE LOCATOR, an original production aimed at finding and re-uniting family members lost to one another, remains a fairly strong performer. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention GOLDEN GIRLS. This sitcom antique, with its famous blue-haired ensemble cast, often gets more telecasts than any other title, and it has for years.

FEBRUARY 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

F25-54

P25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-25%

-25%

-33%

Tuesday 8-11pm

0%

0%

0%

Wednesday 8-11pm

0%

-33%

-33%

Thursday 8-11pm

150%

233%

250%

Friday 8-11pm

33%

0%

33%

Saturday 8-11pm

-40%

25%

33%

Sunday 8-11pm

-25%

-25%

0%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

33%

0%

0%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

After a serious ratings drought, WE tv finally turned a corner this February.  The household ratings for the network were up a full 33% for both monthly and yearly ratings – a drastic deviation from WE’s previous course.  While overall female ratings in the 18-49 and 25-54 range were unchanged from the monthly and yearly contexts, there were major gains on certain nights.  A surprising upsurge of male viewers was also notable.

The credit for WE’s reversal of fortune belongs firmly with the triumphant BRAXTON FAMILY VALUES.  Now in its second season, BRAXTON is far and away the network’s biggest draw.  Primetime Thursdays – which featured premiere episodes of the show – are the network’s biggest nights among all demographics.  Thursdays experienced a dramatic leap in ratings with both men and women.  Men in the 18-49 and 25-54 demos were both up 200%.  Female viewership had an even greater increase: the 18-49 group rose 267% while ages 25-54 “only” grew by 233%.

BRAXTON’S four premiere episodes and three subsequent reruns comprised the list of top seven telecasts for the month.  This dominance of the schedule is as clear an indication of the show’s popularity as any.  No other WE show really came close.

There is a huge ratings drop-off following BRAXTON’S spot at the top.  Acquired shows GHOST WHISPERER, FRASIER, and GOLDEN GIRLS all fared roughly the same – unimpressively.  The three programs each had a primetime night exclusively dedicated to marathon airings.

The only nights with new programs (aside from BRAXTON) were JOAN AND MELISSA and MY FAIR WEDDING which aired on Tuesday and Sunday nights respectively.

February featured new episodes of the second season of JOAN but did not amass much of an audience.  It was the same story for MY FAIR WEDDING, which aired new episodes of its fifth season.  Both shows were down from last year.

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