BET Performance/Schedule Analysis - July 2009



(Updated as of July 21, 2009)


Magazine-style chronicles of the lives of some of Black America's most notorious crime figures.
Status: Third season ended 1/22/09. Produced by: Asylum Entertainment, BET, A. Smith & Co.

Reality / docudrama that explores the lives of African American upper-middle class teens with different approaches to life.
Status: Third season ended 3/17/09 Produced by: BET

The reality series moves to South Beach in its sixth season, following the lives of eight college students.
Status: Currently airing. Produced by BET

Spin-off of KEYSHIA COLE: THE WAY IT IS, the series profiles Keyshia's mother and sister as they strive to gain financial independence.
Status: Set to launch Tuesday, August 25 at 10PM. Produced by: DuBose Entertainment

Spin-off of GIRLFRIENDS about a med student and her professional football player boyfriend. (Off CW).
Status: Currently airing. Produced by: Happy Camper Productions / Grammnet Productions i/CBS Paramount Network Television Inc.

New original docudrama series "captures the spirit of the New Harlem Renaissance" as it follows eight young adults from different backgrounds who share common goals -- making the post-college leap into adulthood and finding love and success in the big city on their own terms.
Status: First season ended on 4/20/09. Produced by: BET

Follows the dramatic life of the platinum-selling R&B singer.
Status: Season three ended on 12/16/08. Produced by: BET.

BET's national search for the next big gospel singer.
Status: Season two ended 5/11/09. Produced by: The G Group and BET

Chronicles the lives of two dynamic women from Atlanta who are "immersed in the craziness of the Hip Hop world, but trying to find inner strength, peace and happiness" by starting their own businesses.
Status: Previews air Monday June 15 @ 10 and Sunday June 28 after the BET AWARDS, official debut June 30.
Produced by: BET.

Eight female contestants vie for a recording contract.
Status: Currently airing (premiered 6/2/09). Produced by: DuBose Entertainment.

Syndicated talk show starring Wendy Williams, who is best known for her NY radio show where she gossiped about and interviewed celebrities.
Status: Set to debut 7/13/09, Monday "" Friday 9-9:30PM. Produced by Debmar-Mercury LLC.





BET's premiere nights for new series are usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays with plenty of encores scattered irregularly throughout the rest of the week. Sunday night usually hosts highlights of the week, including original series encores, specials and encores of specials.  The Monday "" Friday schedule has firmed up in recent months, typically airing a movie each night at 8, with original programming or encores running at 10.


**FRANKIE AND NEFFE (KEYSHIA COLE spin-off) debut August 25
** BET's Education Initiative Week 9/7/09-9/13/09, in conjunction with Viacom's company-wide 'Get Schooled' Project includes:
- GET SCHOOLED September 8 from 6 "" 6:30P (Viacom simulcast)
- BALLOU Saturday September 12 @ 5P
- PRESSURE COOKER (documentary) Saturday, September 12 @ 7P
- BRING YOUR A-GAME Saturday, September 12 @ 9P
- BRING YOUR A-GAME TOWN HALL Saturday, September 12 @ 9:30P
- HEART OF THE CITY Saturday, September 12 @ 10P
** PAY IT OFF debuts Wednesday, September 30 @ 10P, and runs through February 10, 2010
** FIRST IN debuts Friday, October 2 @ 10P, and runs through December 7 (10x30).
** MO'NIQUE debuts Monday, October 5TH (M-F 11P "" 12A STRIP)
** Special 106 & PARK on Tuesday, October 27 6-8P
** Special BET HIP HOP AWARDS on Tuesday, October 27 from 8-10P
** MONICA: STILL STANDING debut Tuesday, October 27 @ 10P, and runs through 12/15 (8x30).
** INSIDE DTP debut Tuesday, October 27 @ 10:30P, and runs through December 15 98x30).
** Special RED CARPET for SOUL TRAIN AWARDS, Sunday November 29 from 8-9P
** Special SOUL TRAIN AWARDS, Sunday November 29 from 9-11P
**THE BLACK PANTHER slated to debut in Q1'10


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison:
June 2009 vs. June 2008  (% Change)
HH          M18-49    W18-49
Monday 8-11pm                 13%             5%            0%
Tuesday 8-11pm               -20%          -36%         -29%
Wednesday 8-11pm           37%           44%          48%
Thursday 8-11pm               56%           69%        100%
Friday 8-11pm                     -2%          -14%            0%
Saturday 8-11pm                60%         107%         100%
Sunday 8-11pm                260%         416%         407%
MTWTFSS 8-11pm           46%            5%            35%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

2009 has been a strong year for BET every month since January, and its highpoint occurred almost exactly at the year's mid-point  ""- Sunday, June 28th -- with THE BET AWARDS. The network was able to react quickly to the unexpected death of Michael Jackson and incorporate a tribute within the annual awards show. The live telecast stands as the most-viewed cable telecast of the year, with 10.65 million viewers. This astounding number breaks all kinds of records "" for both cable and BET. But when the hype settles, what really matters to BET is how to channel that audience back to the channel. Now that viewers know where to find BET, how does BET get them to look for it?

Encores of the awards show and various Michael Jackson specials are sure-fire yet short-term starts. The post-awards preview of TINY & TOYA and a healthy list of new programming set to launch over the next few months are more long-term approaches. The second half of BET's year will be more telling to the future of the network than its best-ever first half.

There was a lot going on at BET beyond its signature awards show this June. As you can see in the chart above, core demo audience improved by 40% or more for four nights out of seven vs. June 2008. Compared to May's ratings, Monday nights showed a marginal increase (+4% A18-49) while every other night grew by impressive double digits. Again, it is the improved scheduling of a better line-up of movies and a more focused slate of originals that are driving the network's increases.

Mondays are the weakest link on the network, with the lowest ratings of the week. Under-performing movies are scheduled at 8P and second or third encores are scheduled in the 10P block. Next month we will see if RISING ICONS, slated to premiere on Mondays, can raise ratings for the night.

Tuesdays are typically the strongest night of the week, with lot's of Tyler Perry movies scheduled at 8P and original programming making its premiere at 10P and 10:30P. This month COLLEGE HILL's sixth season finished out its run in South Beach with much-improved ratings over last month. Each of the four premieres made the top 5 rated telecast list this month. The total 17 telecasts this June (4 premieres, 13 encores) topped last month's 22 telecasts by 21% among women 18-49, the show's strongest demo. WELCOME TO DREAMLAND, one of many music/reality/competition programs, debuted on June 2nd for a six-week run. WELCOME TO DREAMLAND generally lost about one-fourth of its lead-in women 18-49 audience from top-rated COLLEGE HILL. On average, the premiere episode did perform better than Tuesday night's movies, but the encores (Thursdays) did not hold up, and the total program's average placed fourth among four programs.

Wednesdays were mostly movies followed by a couple of runs of THE GAME. Movies drove ratings for the night, which was up by+7% among women 18-49. A couple of male-skewing movies helped the men 18-49 demo improve by 24% for the night. But, with the exception of the occasional movie, BET is strictly skewing female these days.

Thursday's solid movies and underperforming DREAMLAND / COLLEGE HILL encores were overshadowed by a BET AWARDS special and a MICHAEL JACKSON MARATHON on the 25th.

On Fridays the movie and THE GAME were on tap again, performing about the same as last month, but topping last year's line-up by about one-third.

Saturdays were lifted by a COLLEGE HILL marathon, which drew in women, and a solid line-up of movies, which drew in men (Get Rich or Die Tryin' was the top-rated theatrical).  The night was a demo success. Compared to last month, household ratings improved by just two percent, but men 18-49 ratings jumped by 72% and women 18-49 ratings climbed by 29%. Demo ratings were double last year's numbers.

For the first three weeks of the month, Sundays lacked luster. The Josephine Baker Story, The Color Purple and LENS ON TALENT might bring critical accolades, but they did not bring the audience of last month's SUNDAY BEST. But then THE BET AWARDS happened, and as discussed above, viewing records were shattered. For the record, the '09 show outperformed the '08 show by 59% on household ratings and 83% on both men and women 18-49 ratings.


CW comedy series THE GAME began airing in February 2009 on BET. BET acquired the rights to all three seasons of the cancelled program, the third of which has not ever aired.

BET networks acquired Debmar-Mercury's THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW, which is stripped Monday "" Friday at 11PM (debuted 7/13).

BET Networks and The Weinstein Company (TWC) put together a four-movie deal involving first network-window premiere rights for The Longshots (starring Keke Palmer), Soul Men (starring Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac) and Hurricane Season (starring Forest Whitaker), as well as a portion of the network window rights to The Great Debaters (starring Denzel Washington).


106 & PARK, BOBBY JONES GOSPEL, BROTHERS TO BRUTHA (season 2, Q4 '09), SUNDAY BEST (season 3, Q1 '10).

Returning specials include: BET AWARDS '10 (Q2 '10), CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL (Q1 '10), BET HIP HOP AWARDS (Q4 '09), THE BET HONORS (Q1 '10), RIP THE RUNWAY (Q1 '10), SPRING BLING (Q2 '10).


None announced. (SOMEBODIES not likely to return, but no official announcement has been made).