WE TV Analysis - September 2011

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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. Sound crazy? Watch the network. It works.

September 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / September 2011 vs. September 2010  (% Change)

HH

F25-54

P25-54

Monday 8-11pm

0%

-25%

-33%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-33%

-0%

-33%

Wednesday 8-11pm

50%

33%

50%

Thursday 8-11pm

-33%

0%

0%

Friday 8-11pm

-25%

-40%

-25%

Saturday 8-11pm

0%

-0%

0%

Sunday 8-11pm

0%

-17%

-25%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

0%

-0%

-0%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

This month WE tv remained mired in the same abyss the network found itself in August.  Ratings among women on a monthly and yearly basis were unchanged – revealing longstanding woes for the channel.

The most successful show for WE was new show BIG EASY BRIDES.  But referring to the show as the “most successful” almost feels like doling out a backhanded compliment.  BIG was simply at the top of a short list of awful.  Female viewers were largely indifferent while male viewers were non-existent.

From the perspective of individual telecasts, the top programs were mostly comprised of BRIDEZILLAS, GOLDEN GIRLS, and FRASIER.  This dependence on syndicated shows is a troubling sign. Five out of WE’s eight September primetime programs were acquired and one of the three original programs (DOWNSIZED) came in dead last.

Saturday nights were comprised of THE GHOST WHISPERER – another acquired program.  GHOST did only slightly better than DOWNSIZED.  The show did attract more women aged 25-54 than any other show. Still, GHOST’s  25-54 audience was only fractionally better than the rest of the ratings.

September proved a very disappointing month for the network; WE will need to carry out some fundamental changes if it hopes to shake the negative trend.

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