A&E Analysis - June 2011

Publish date:


* Bold denotes programming change


The network's scheduling approach appears to break the week into two parts:  Monday-Thursday, and the weekend.  In both instances, it's all about stacking themes or singular series throughout the night.

Monday-Thursday is dominated by reality based series, mostly within the crime and justice category.  Signature series INTERVENTION, DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER, and FIRST 48 anchor the evenings, more often than not, in the form of two hour blocks.  The 10pm timeslots feature a rotating mix of real life and reality series that include the human condition, crime, pop culture, celeb-reality, and paranormal.  Many of the series tend to be half hours scheduled back to back to fill the slot

Friday and Saturday feature three hour stacks of CRIMINAL MINDS.  Sunday nights have been switching every few months between CSI: MIAMI/CRIMINALMINDS and reality series, with dramas the current mainstay.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison /June 2011 vs. June 2010 (% 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

June was down one notch from last year on the younger demo, flat on the target adults 25-54.  Month to month figures looked better, with increases of 10-15% in key demos since May.

Two returning series highlight the month. THE GLADES was back for its sophomore season on Sundays at 10pm. The Matt Passmore vehicle lands the top spot on the network for the month. GLADES was down slightly from last year's series debut, but it was still enough to jack up the night more than 25% over last year in the key demos.

GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS was back for a 6th season stronger numbers than ever. Simmons and family took the 2nd highest rated series in the target demo in June. This season's storyline has taken a much more serious tone compared to prior years. As one of our personal favorites, we're rooting for Gene and Shannon.

STORAGE WARS has been the star of the show for a few months now. No premieres and spreading it across almost two full nights has taken it down a notch or two. A full second night might be pushing it. Wednesdays were fine, but Tuesdays were off from it's norm. Overall, the series was down more than 15% in the key demos from May.

FIRST 48: MISSING PERSONS was a strong performer on Thursdays at 10pm. The FIRST 48 spinoff finished above average for both key demos. It's parent series, THE FIRST 48, did well with the 9pm premieres, also on Thursday nights.

HOARDERS and INTERVENTION were back for new seasons, filling the Monday 9-11pm block. Both series came out of the gates on a good note, each finishing about 50% above average for the key demos.

CRIMINAL MINDS was up in the younger 18-49 group, and flat with the 25-54 demo compared to last June. Sunday's episodes were stronger than the Monday outings.


A&E made a lot of drastic program content changes in recent years, going more mainstream in reality and moving away from such staple doc series as BIOGRAPHY, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS, and AMERICAN JUSTICE.  Properties like STEVEN SEAGAL: LAWMEN, THE FIRST 48 and MANHUNTERS still maintain the network's roots in crime/investigation, while reality shows like DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER, INTERVENTION, HOARDERS, and GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS define the network today.  DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER and GROWING UP GOTTI helped bring A&E into the world of general entertainment, by taking its tradition of crime into reality programming. After growing in popularity with younger demos, A&E was able to branch out even more with shows like INKED, KING OF CARS, and DRIVING FORCE.  All of these programs had compelling, quirky and/or unique characters, along with something edgy in their lifestyle.  The genre has grown to include the human condition and the paranormal.

In early 2007, the network announced its first development slate of drama series in years.  The first project to come out of that slate, THE CLEANER starring Benjamin Bratt, premiered in July, 2008.  A second season soon followed.  THE BEAST, starring the late Patrick Swayze, solidified the network's foothold in the genre, building on their acquired dramas, particularly CRIMINAL MINDS, and the successful real life franchises. THE GLADES, hit the schedule last summer and has been picked up for a second season.  BREAKOUT KINGS is already cementing a place in the schedule now.

A&E tries to be just edgy enough to fuel publicity and appeal to a younger audience. Strong characters, as in DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER and BILLY THE EXTERMINATOR, mixed in select celeb-reality offerings sit across the week.  The human condition has formed the basis for their Monday nights over the last year with INTERVENTION, HEAVY, and HOARDERS.

IMPORTANT: The network doesn't refer to itself as a "women's" channel, but the gender skew leans almost 60% female.  Something to keep in mind when developing a program pitch.