A new year, more STORAGE WARS for A&E. The month saw stacked episodes of the hit series 4 nights of the week – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER remains in the primetime lineup, anchoring Wednesdays at 10pm. Monday nights continue to skew more female with HOARDERS and INTERVENTION. On nights when STORAGE isn’t on the menu, it’s crime.
FEBRUARY PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / February 2012 vs. February 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
February 2012 proved somewhat of a tough month for A&E, which kicked of 2012 with very positive numbers. Overall, A&E was down 5% in overall viewers, and fell 19% from January. Heavy competition from the networks was likely the cause - though A&E took a bit more of hit than some of the competition. (For details, see CableU's exclusive Performance Graphs here: http://www.cableu.tv/?p=32264) Still, viewers can't seem to get enough storage or shipping shows these days, and several nights of the week benefitted from those viewers.
Of the top 20 telecasts for the month, 18 were airings of STORAGE WARS, (the other 2 were of SHIPPING WARS.) In fact, STORAGE WARS had 54 telecasts during February. However, there show is finally starting to show some signs of wear - overall viewers were down in the key demographics of the show compared to both last month and last year. As noted above, the show is on the schedule 4 nights of the week and new episodes have clearly pushed Tuesday nights to be the strongest of the week for A&E. The genre is clearly still working.
Monday nights on A&E are still clocking in with under-average numbers. While the lineup of HOARDERS and INTERVENTION is powerful, the male viewers aren't tuning in. HOARDERS is showing signs of wear, down 11% compared to last year. INTERVENTION is on the upswing, gaining 16% more viewers compared to a year ago. Producers take note - this female-skewing space is likely something A&E will be looking to program in the coming months.
DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER anchors the Wednesday schedule at 10pm. Premiere episodes in February pulled in numbers well above-average, and the show was up 16% from a year ago.
Thursday's lineup of THE FIRST 48 was the weakest of the week for A&E. The program is also down significantly from year-ago numbers - 27% compared to February 2011. Crime is working, but it's looking more and more like A&E is going to need a new, fresh take on the genre.
Saturdays in February saw the return of BILLY THE EXTERMINATOR. With a positive start, numbers fell in subsequent episodes. The show is up across all key demos compared to last year. The night is up 24% compared to last year (in examining the numbers a little more closely, however, we can determine that this is mostly from STORAGE WARS episodes.)
Sundays in February featured a variety of stacked shows. Numbers for most were below average (THE FIRST 48, CRIMINAL MINDS, and FLIPPING BOSTON.) STORAGE WARS pulled in a bigger crowd.
STORAGE WARS - and now, again, INTERVENTION - continues to be the driving force for A&E as we make our way into 2012 as it is the perfect storm of plot + characters + stakes + reveal = all the key elements of a great show that viewers like to watch. Look for more similar programming choices in the rest of 2012.