CMT Analysis



While Music remains the theme for movies and specials, the network has recently enjoyed success with original reality series DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS along with rural-America-themed BAYOU BILLIONAIRES and MY BIG REDNECK VACATION.

The sitcom REBA has replaced EXTREME MAKEOVER HOME EDITION as the network’s go-to strip at 8pm Monday – Friday, followed by a mixture of movies, music specials, and original series. Series blocks, movies and specials fill out the rest of the weekend.

Saturdays have recently been dedicated to redneck and rural themed original programming. This fall the network will premiere several brand new shows along with the second seasons of BAYOU BILLIONAIRES and REDNECK ISLAND.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison /December 2012 vs. December 2011  (% Change)




Monday 8-11pm




Tuesday 8-11pm




Wednesday 8-11pm




Thursday 8-11pm




Friday 8-11pm




Saturday 8-11pm




Sunday 8-11pm




MTWTFSS 8-11pm




Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

CMT has been evolving similar to other music centered cable stations (VH1, MTV) in the sense that they are staying connected to the Country Music lifestyle brand, but branching out by developing original reality shows within that brand. The network is turning Country Music into a lifestyle by developing shows based around rural-America and male-targeted themes (rednecks, the South).

In December, CMT replaced many of its original series repeats with more movies and specials. A schedule consisting of an 8pm hour of REBA followed by COUNTRY MUSIC THEATER was the theme for the front half of the workweek this month. The only exception to this was a few repeat episodes of REDNECK ISLAND on a couple Wednesday nights. Ratings stayed on the low end of the scale and mostly showed significant losses across the board both monthly and annually. Wednesdays improved over November ratings, and had double digit monthly gains in both male and female 25-54 demos.

Thursdays and Fridays continued with a similar schedule but added more series repeats and specials to the 9pm timeslot. On Fridays, CMT removed DALLAS COWBOY CHEERLEADERS from its schedule and replaced the first hour with another reliable 8pm block of REBA. Ratings started to improve on these nights, and the network saw some strong monthly gains and slight annual gains. RON WHITE comedy specials and a few popular movies (Rumor Has It, and Fireproof) helped draw stronger audiences to help boost the network’s ratings average.

The weekends continued on this upswing, and ratings were best on Saturdays. Despite having the best numbers for the month, both nights showed significant monthly and annual losses. Saturday nights are reserved for new episodes of original programming. This month, both REDNECK ISLAND and CHAINSAW GANG lost interest of some viewers and ratings dropped from last month when the shows premiered. December also said goodbye to BIG TEXAS HEAT (aired once on December 1st), which is on hiatus after a four-episode run last month.

December ended an otherwise positive year on a negative note, with all demos showing annual losses. Many of the network’s original programs remain popular and it looks like 2013 is going to follow that lead. January will premiere some new shows centered on the redneck/South genre and hopefully start the New Year with some strong numbers.