JUNE 2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:
* Bold denotes programming change
The BET Monday - Friday schedule typically features a movie each night at 8 or 9 with original programming / encores filling the remaining hour. Premiere night for new series is Tuesday, with plenty of encores scattered irregularly throughout the rest of the week. Saturdays are all movies and Sunday night is a mix of programming, including movies, original series, encores, news specials and encores of specials.
JUNE 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / June 2011 vs. June 2010 (% Change)
*Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
JUNE 2011: It has been a roller coaster year for BET as it climbed to dizzying heights with THE GAME at the beginning of the year, rolled down to the lowest levels since December 2009 in May, and then climbed back up again this June on the back of THE BET AWARDS. This month's adult 18-49 bottom line numbers are nearly 60% better than May, and six percent better than last year.
The 2011 production of THE BET AWARDS netted out the second best ratings ever for the annual special, bested only by the 2009 awards that were escalated by a well-timed Michael Jackson tribute. Compared to 2010, adult 18-49 ratings for the premiere telecast are up by eight percent. BET's specials and awards shows have been following an upward trend, providing the spark behind the BET brand personality.
But movies are behind BET''s bottom line numbers this month, not the AWARDS SHOW. As specials, competitions and reality stars burn bright and fade, movies provide a steady glow to the primetime lineup. With 25 movies in primetime this month, there are more movies and fewer programs on the network than usual. Fortunately, they performed well. The titles are stronger, and have become more female focused vs. last year, as reflected in the 26% increase in women 18-49 ratings vs. the 15% increase among men. Top rated titles for June included Daddy''s Little Girls, Ray and The Preacher''s Kid.
TOYA: A FAMILY AFFAIR was in its second month this June, and program average ratings climbed 10% among core women 18-49. Compared to other BET reality programs receiving the featured Tuesday slot, TOYA is not a stand-out, but it does perform better than the typical network average rating. BET tends to run its reality series many times throughout the week while ratings are still hot. But it bucked the trend with TOYA, serving up the premiere on Tuesdays at 10, an encore at 10:30, and leaving it at that.
The last component of BET's June 2011 lineup was a handful of encores of FAMILY CREWS 2, serving as low-rated weekday filler for movies.
CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:
BET is ripe for some new headliner programming. After the strong showing at the beginning of the year with THE GAME and LET'S STAY TOGETHER, the springtime fare fell flat, and the summer is starting slow. Up next, SUNDAY BEST launches season four at the end of July, LaurieAnn Gibson comes to the network in August, and a sitcom or two is in the works. Can BET reach those January heights again? Was it a fluke or a glimpse of the network's potential?
Comedy and sitcoms are in demand at BET. Celebrity reality, musical competitions, awards programming and specials are each still an essential part of the net's overall strategy to stay young and current. Documentaries and specials with a social message are not usually ratings stars, but they remain a strong option for BET.