CMT Analysis - July 2011

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* Bold denotes programming change


While Music still informs many of CMT's  original series such as THE SINGING BEE and CMT'S NEXT SUPERSTAR, movies and acquired series dominate the schedule six nights per week. EXTREME MAKEOVER HOME EDITION periodically strips at 8pm Monday -Thursday, followed by a Movie most nights. Original series have moved to Thursday from Friday, with Music specials slotted throughout the schedule.

Weekend strategy consists of slotting series and movies interspersed with Comedy and Music specials. Series are beginning to establish a presence on Sundays.

After scheduling Prime "off the clock" with most programs starting at some point during the third quarter of the hour in December, CMT returned to starting on the hour and half-hour in January, and has continued this practice throughout 2011.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison /July 2011 vs. July 2010  (% Change)




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MTWTFSS 8-11pm




Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

CMT's Prime lineup went through wholesale changes in August, with every time period undergoing a shift in programming. Original series SWEET HOME ALABAMA and TEXAS WOMEN  premiered on Thursday, the new night for original series. Despite these changes, Movies and Stand-Up Comedy specials once again dominated the Top 20 programs again in July, with Blue Collar stalwart Ron White headlining the two of the top three specials  for the fourth month in a row.

Ratings were down slightly from last year, and declined by nearly 1/3 in HH and A25-54 from June.

Premiering on the third Thursday of the survey, 10PM TEXAS WOMEN lost 26% of its HH Rtg and 33% of it RW25-54 by week 3, while lead-in SWEET HOME ALABAMA dropped 12% and 30%, respectively, in the same period. TEXAS WOMEN's July performance equaled CMT's Prime average for the month, and SWEET HOME ALABAMA exceeded it slightly. Overall the night earned the strongest growth of the month, while lowering the Median Age for Thursday viewership by 21% from July 2010. Ratings grew over last month as well, with older women up 33% from June.

Stand-Up specials from Ron White and Terry Fator combined Western-themed movies (TOMBSTONE, BLAZING SADDLES) to lift  Saturday over last year. Men demos nearly doubled from July 2010, but older women were flat.

EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION which filled nearly 1/3 of all Prime hours in May, returned as a two hour stack 9-11pm on Sunday, growing 50% in HH Rtg from Week 1 to Week 3 in its new home.

In a shift from how Nielsen has listed CMT's programming in the past, the ratings from certain Prime Movie telecasts no longer appear under a single COUNTRY MUSIC THEATER umbrella. For July, CMT broke out each of its Prime movie telecasts separately. Based on this practice, Movies occupied 10 of the top 20 in slots for HH delivery for the month, with  TOMBSTONE the top offering.


The Network could use some series with a longer shelf life.  Competition/elimination based formats are fun to watch, but don't have the strength to repeat down the road, something that's increasingly becoming a necessity on this network. The common thread in all of CMT's needs is that they be family-friendly.

In addition to the music fare that was the bedrock of the Network, CMT is looking for sitcoms, comedic reality, adventure-based reality series and original movies.