NOVEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:
* Bold denotes programming change
The BET Monday - Friday schedule typically features a movie each night at 8, with original programming or encores running at 10. 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.
NOVEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / November 2010 vs. November 2009 (% Change)
*Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
NOVEMBER 2010: Another month where specials and awards shows drove the train. Literally. THE SOUL TRAIN AWARDS led the way with the best ratings of the quarter. THE SOUL TRAIN AWARDS plus the other specials of November, BLACK GIRLS ROCK, RED CARPET, 106 & PARK: 10 YEARS were the only programs to exceed the bottom-line primetime average. Last year saw exceptional growth as the new network programmers cleaned up the line-up and focused on women. However, 2010 has seen the rating shrink as reality show after reality show comes and goes, failing to resonate.
BEING TERRY KENNEDY was back after its launch off the HIP HOP AWARDS, but it dropped 10% of its audience from last month. Premiering in the signature 10PM Tuesday night timeslot, it didn't compare to last year's MONICA STILL STANDING, and drove Tuesday to a 47% decline vs. 2009.
THE GAME is still in repeats...a new season is reportedly airing in January, but audience is down 41% vs. last year in November.
Movies are still solid, and provide the backbone for the network. Outside of specials, all of the top ten rated telecasts of the month were movies. The movie average performance was mixed vs. last year - up 9% on households, even for men and down 8% on women 18-49. Best performers were Madeas Family Reunion and Love and Basketball Movie.
Other programs on BET's primetime schedule this November were a couple of runs of AMERICAN GANGSTER, which drew low ratings compared to the rest of the line-up, but they did manage to hold onto their lead-in movie audience. Encores of THE FAMILY CREWS were back as well, running as a companion to TERRY KENNEDY, but audiences did not stick around for it.
CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:
The inherent short-lived nature of celebrity reality isn't helping BET's long-term picture. The network relies on encores and repeats of its reality shows to fill out its thin bench, but the genre doesn't hold up to multiple viewings.
BET's strategy is to focus on what it does best, awards shows and celebrity reality with a musical twist. The 2010 strategy was to string together one short-lived celebrity reality show after another...FAMILY CREWS into TINY & TOYA into TREY SONGZ into TERRY KENNEDY. When a program strikes a chord, it is literally played until it is played out. 2011 is slated to start out with two new scripted series, a genre BET hasn't had much luck with in the past. But a fresh start for the new year is definitely called for at BET, and there are a large number of shows from various genres under development.
For producers, new formats and programs are still viable. The net is giving scripted dramas another try, and documentaries and specials with a social message are always a strong programming option.