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.
APRIL 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / Apirl 2012 vs. April 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
While monthly ratings were down and yearly ratings were flat overall, WE made some key year-to-year gains on certain nights. The largest gain occurred on Thursday nights among women 18-49. The credit for the impressive 150% bump belongs to new show MARY MARY. The reality show, which features the titular gospel duo, found a strong audience among young women.
MARY’s four premiere episodes were also WE’s top four telecasts for the month by a wide margin. Considering the recent success of BRAXTON FAMILY VALUES (which aired no new episodes in April) it appears that the network is making strides in the right direction.
Unfortunately, WE’s popular series are too few and far between – the next highest rated program was far below MARY. This is unsurprising, considering that (aside from MARY) the vast majority of the network’s schedule was comprised of acquisitions. Frankly, a network can’t flourish built on a foundation of GHOST WHISPERER, CSI MIAMI, FRASIER and GOLDEN GIRLS.
Also disconcerting was the fact that an old episode of GHOST beat out the season finale of WE original JOAN AND MELISSA. Even when same day views were taken into account (which boosted the show 30% among women 18-49), JOAN still couldn’t break passed the sixth slot.
MY FAIR WEDDING, which closed out its fifth season, earned modest ratings but still managed to beat out a good amount of programs. One such show was SHANNEN SAYS.
SHANNEN– a reality show starring Shannen Doherty – premiered early in the month and aired a total of six telecasts. The show, which follows the star as she prepares for her wedding, was a colossal flop.