WE TV Analysis - November 2009



Wetv Primetime Schedule


Structurally, these fo lks obviously care about predictability and stability. In July, schedule changes were predictably minor.

If schedule simplicity remains a hallmark at WEtv, its range of offerings is instructive to anyone contemplating a pitch there. GOLDEN GIRLS, a 1985-1992 ensemble (of older women) sitcom, 20/20 ON WE, and WOMEN BEHIND BARS might all be said to tell stories in ways that have been around for a long, long time. RAISING SEXTUPLETS, BRIDEZILLAS, I WANT TO SAVE YOUR LIFE and AMAZING WEDDING CAKES are all more hip to 21st Century structuring and packaging. They all coexist in a coherent, female-friendly schedule.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / November 2009 vs. November 2008  (% Change)




Monday 8-11pm




Tuesday 8-11pm




Wednesday 8-11pm




Thursday 8-11pm




Friday 8-11pm




Saturday 8-11pm




Sunday 8-11pm




MTWTFSS 8-11pm




Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

November was another quiet month at WEtv. The network was flat in month-to-month HH's and women, the only viewers who matter - or who even register in statistically significant numbers from Nielson, much of the time. Year-to-year, the network was up almost 20% in November, which must have made for pleasant banter around the water cooler there.

PLATINUM WEDDINGS, a reliable performer for years, neither knocked anyone's socks off, nor helped its new cousin's series premier. PLATINUM BABIES did slightly better overall than PLATINUM WEDDINGS, at 9:00 and 9:30 on Fridays, but each was just below network averages. Rounding out Friday nights, MY FAIR WEDDING did the best of this marriage/new family theme-stack, delivering slightly above average in Households and women. Season Two for that series has gone nicely and will conclude next month.

Two other original series delivered above network average numbers in November. THE LOCATOR was hot - delivering well above average numbers despite heavy use on a low HUT night: All of primetime on Saturdays, for a total of 24 telecasts. And BRIDEZILLAS, with ten outings on Sunday nights did quite nicely, too. Worth noting, with a tip of the hat to schedulers at WEtv, is that MY FAIR WEDDING on Sundays built considerably from its BRIDEZILLAS lead.

And, we couldn't leave without a mention of GOLDEN GIRLS, WEtv's ancient, off-network miracle sitcom with a white-haired ensemble cast. It got more play than anything else - 30 telecasts! - and yet performed just below the network's average. You go, Girls.

Finally, the top twenty telecasts are an interesting mix, and they come from just four series titles. Parentheses indicate the number of episodes in the top twenty: BRIDEZILLAS (3), MY FAIR WEDDING (5), THE LOCATOR (10), and 20/20 ON WE (2).




Strategic Opportunities:

WE has many originals on air, including some with some real mojo (SECRET LIVES OF WOMEN, BRIDEZILLAS, THE LOCATOR), but is always looking for the "next" signature show to breaking through the clutter in a crowded cable environment.  They are looking to differentiate themselves from the older, trying to become younger skewing Lifetime, and the bawdy brand of Oxygen.

For originals, it's all reality, reality, reality...programming.

In terms of acquisitions, they look at everything.  They look for shows that attract a reach and are appealing.  They look at shows that could be potentially used as launch pads for originals that have a broad demographic.

CableU Need to Know:

At WE TV's recent 2009-2010 Upfront, WE announced several new original series targeting Women 18-49, along with an updated network tagline.  The network pinpointed three programming genres: "WE Go Bridal", with wedding-themed programming, "WE Reveal", chronicling the lives of intriguing women, and "WE Transform", real-life stories of change involving experts.

In developing its programming slate, WE pointed to an update of last year's network commissioned female research study identifying WE's target audience - as "Uber I Do-er's": optimistic, resilent, trend-smart, key decision makers in the home and thoughtful, discerning spenders despite today's tough economic environment.

Over the past year or two, WE tv has made sure everything they do is story-driven, featuring real women at highly emotional turning points in their lives. Ranging from weddings to being sentenced to life in prison to meeting your birth mother for the first time since you were given up for adoption at birth.

WE has had its most successful year in terms of their strategy on focusing on original programming.  Including signature series BRIDEZILLAS, to original reality HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL.  These series, and many more have resonated with their audiences and made an emotional connection with their female demographics.

WE continues with programs catering to the wedding genre is adding three new series to its more immediate line-up. In addition, WE has been an active player in the purchases off-network acquisitions - just recently acquiring CBS' Ghost Whisperer and CW's Girlfriends.

Please click the following link for the WEtv Development Fact Sheet.  This fact sheet, directly from the network itself and exclusive shared with CableU Subscribers, outlines not only WE's development process, but their latest network needs, core genres, key buzzwords, and much more.

At a recent meeting with network executives, CableU was given the document linked to below regarding their development process: