A&E Performance/Schedule Analysis - October 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of November 19, 2008)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

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

OCTOBER 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

INTERVENTION, DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER, THE FIRST 48,  PARANORMAL STATE, CSI: MIAMI

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:

SEPTEMBER to OCTOBER:

Monday - PARANORMAL STATE wraps up at 10pm, replaced by an inventory mix;

Tuesday - THE CLEANER finishes its first season at 10pm;  premiere reality series THE ROOKIES moves into the block

Wednesday - PARKING WARS takes over the 10pm slot from CRISS ANGEL

PREMIERES:

** October 21st 

NOVEMBER AND BEYOND

PREMIERES:

** December 9th - MANHUNTERS: FUGITIVE TASK FORCE
** January 15th - THE BEAST
** February 4th - THE EXTERMINATORS   

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

The year ago picture looks pretty good, albeit with a few caveats.  Last October was the lowest rated month in the last year and a half.  Gains were clearly a possibility and, in fact, should have been expected.  Better news is that natural drop from September was minimal.  Total viewers saw almost zero fall off from last month.  That's good.  A relatively stable schedule with just a few tweaks in the 10pm slots early in the week are one reason for the steady numbers.  Hiding SOPRANOS and showcasing the the rest has also been a good move. 

Numbers were up in all demos across the board on a year to year basis, women especially.  Women 25-54 skew is up slight, topping 60% for the first time since we've been tracking the numbers.  Hopefully it doesn't go much higher than that.  Anything above 62% or so likely means a loss in men and lower ratings overall. 

OCTOBER 2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Mondays continue their recent slide, dropping considerably from September.  Repeats of top series INTERVENTION and the end of PARANORMAL STATE will that for you.  Still, the night was up more than 30% in women over last year.  Not sure why they went for a mini-marathon of THE CLEANER mid month expect for a quick promotional hit.  Even repeats of INTERVENTION would have fared better.

Tuesdays are also down from month, but up from year ago.  Premiere eps of THE FIRST 48 did great.  The last three eps of THE CLEANER were barely average.  The original drama has already been renewed for a second season, but it might need some retooling if it's to come back with some strength.  Audiences dropped almost 50% in some of the key demos just from a month ago.  THE ROOKIES debuted at the end of the month and didn't fare so well.  Farely typical take-off on the reality cops genre, the opening night lost more than 1/3 of the lead-in and was well back of the network averages in key demos.

Wednesdays were a bright spot in the schedule.  Up slightly from last month and considerably from year ago.  This year's reality was a welcome relief from last year's older skewing CSI: MIAMI and SOPRANOS so the bump up isn't much of a surprise.  Looking closer, DOG is the strength of the night.  CRISS ANGEL finished its season with a whimper.  New season of PARKING WARS also struggled, finishing below the aforementioned ROOKIES for women.

Thursdays are down slightly from last year, although we think the line-up is better suited for the long term.  Last year included an 8pm run of CSI MIAMI.  This year's block of FIRST 48 and JACKED is much more compatible.  Even though JACKED hasn't done much, they're on the right track.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are pretty much all CSI MIAMI all the time, with a few SOPRANOS tossed in for good measure.  As we noted last month, the weekend block is fine for a few months, but could eventually wear thin.  For October, the results were pretty good.  Definite improvment over last year's variety of reality series repeats.  Even better, some serious bumps from month ago on Sundays.  On the other end, Fridays fell off a tad, again with the same line-up.  Not enough to be alarmed yet, but we'll keep an eye on it.


PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

CRIMINAL MINDS - acquired exclusive cable rights beginning 9/09; began airing weekly in May, 2008;

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

THE CLEANER (2009); INTERVENTION;

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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