A&E Performance/Schedule Analysis - July 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of August 20, 2008)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Strongest demo is P25-54, with a female skew for most programs.

JULY 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

INTERVENTION, THE CLEANER, DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER, CRISS ANGEL MINDFREAK, THE FIRST 48

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Beginning in September, 2006, the network introduced a strip of their new acquisition, CSI MIAMI, running Monday to Friday at 8PM. The strip is followed by stacks of their Real Life series SOPRANOS on Mondays and Wednesdays, and another block of CSI MIAMI on Fridays. A mix of series fills weekend prime. With the introduction of the 8PM strip, the schedule is now comprised entirely of series programming, with no anthology slots for single hours and specials. New projects tend to enter the schedule as the current reality series end their premiere runs. New series retain the vertical blocks at either 8P or 10P, maximizing the audience flow established throughout the schedule.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

JUNE - JULY:

Tuesday - the long awaited original drama, THE CLEANER, debuts mid month at 10pm

Wednesday - the night is completely overhauled; gone is the three hour block of CSI: MIAMI, replaced by  repeat of THE FIRST 48 at 8pm, the return from exile of DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER at 9pm, and a new season of CRISS ANGEL MINDFREAK at 10pm

Thursday - CRIME 360 finishes up at 10pm; another repeat of THE FIRST 48 takes over the slot, making it a three hour, prime time block of the crime reality hit

Friday - repeats of THE CLEANER move into the 10pm slot

PREMIERES:

** July 15th - THE CLEANER

** July 16th - DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER (Season 5)

** July 23rd - CRISS ANGEL MINDFREAK

** July 28th - PARANORMAL STATE (Season 2)

AUGUST AND BEYOND

PREMIERES:

** August 21st - JACKED-AUTO THEFT TASK FORCE

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

An old face returns and a new one debuts, leading the channel to its best July ever.  Network press claims record numbers in adults 18-34, 18-49, and 25-54.  Our own numbers show some very strong year on year growth, especially with women.  Men 18-49 and 25-54 are up single digits, but women jumped 22% and 16% in the same age breaks respectively.  Moreover, the median age dropped another two years according to the network, and now stands at 44.  Not a bad start to the 3rd quarter.


JULY
2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

In a month full of good news, Mondays are still the star.  With INTERVENTION leading the way, Mondays outpaced last year's demo numbers by 66% and 89% respectively.  And the increases were even greater when it comes to the women.  Both demo breaks more than doubled last year's delivery performances.  INTERVENTION has really taken off the last couple of months.  Even the repeats are cranking.  PSYCHIC KIDS dropped from last month's debuts, but the women delivery numbers remain some of the highest on the network. 

Tuesdays followed with strong numbers as well.  Demos are up more than 50% with almost all of that coming from the women.  As has been the pattern, a month of premieres for THE FIRST 48 drew fairly well.   Highlight for the night was the long awaited debut of THE CLEANER.  The network's first original scripted drama in more than six years fulfilled its promise.  Drawing some of the larger performances this month for women, the Benjamin Bratt vehicle ended the month as the 2nd highest series on the net.

The momentum continued on Wednesdays.  Back from exile, DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER returned to the schedule with great fanfare.  The impact was immediate.  Along with a new season of CRISS ANGEL, audiences were up across the board, in the range of 20-50%.  Men, women, 18-49 and 25-54.  Median age also fell a whopping 19%, making it the 2nd youngest night of the week.

The next three nights were uneventful.  Thursdays were off considerably from last year with an all repeat line-up of THE FIRST 48 repeats.  Even with the repeats, it managed to finish on par with the network averages for the month.  Similar story with a mostly CSI: MIAMI line-up on Fridays.  Down from last year across the board.  Still, it's nice to see the heavy use of the series start to diminish.  Repeats of THE CLEANER take over at 10pm, reducing CSI's presence to just two hours for the week.  Saturday movie nights are still getting crushed, finishing in the cellar once again.

Sundays are struggling.  Premieres of GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS are outperforming the network averages.  But the 90 minute block of FAMILY JEWELS repeats leading off the night aren't doing the same.  We saw this pattern last year as the heavy repeat schedule took its toll on the series.  Much like their on again/off again relationship, THE TWO COREYS is limping towards the finale.  Watching Haim deal with his demons was good for a couple episodes, but the repetitive storyline is probably the reason audiences are running away.  Notwithstanding the drama of the finale, the ratings alone don't bode well for a 3rd season.


PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

CRIMINAL MINDS - acquired exclusive cable rights beginning 9/09; will air weekly beginning 5/08;

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

None announced

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

SELL THIS HOUSE!, COLD CASE FILES, PRIVATE SESSIONS, AMERICAN JUSTICE, THE SOPRANOS, CROSSING JORDAN

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