CMT Analysis - May 2010

Publish date:
Updated on


* Bold denotes programming change


While still moving away from the  music programming on which the network was founded, CMT has returned to  stripping EXTREME MAKEOVER HOME EDITION at 8p each weeknight, replacing the off-Fox series ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A FIFTH GRADER, which now plays at 8p on Friday. These blocks are followed by a variety of series blocks and specials, which alternate with Movies at 9p most weeknights..

Weekend strategy consists of slotting series and movies interspersed with Comedy and Music specials.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / May 2010 vs. May 2009  (% 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 moving towards light entertainment/reality and away from music for months now, although it still finds some of its highest ratings from music-oriented series and specials.

In May, CMT radically altered their scheduling approach, while making significant programming changes every night but Sunday. EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION expanded from one night per week to five, replacing ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5TH GRADER at the beginning of each weeknight.

A the beginning of the calendar month, CMT essentially took the schedule "off the clock," with programs starting well after the top or bottom of the hour. EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION was double run, with each night's first episode starting between 7:10 - 7:15, shifting the rest of Prime to begin around 15:00  or 45:00 after the hour. These strategic shifts of schedule and content seem to have resulted in double-digit HH and demo losses for all seven nights. Replacing perennial top-3 offering  ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A FIFTH GRADER on four nights with EXTREME MAKEOVER HOME EDITION resulted in a drop of 38% in HH Rtgs from April, although demos were flat. The combination of a weaker HH lead-in and the new scheduling pattern most likely resulted in month-to-month declines in HH Rtg as well.

One bright spot is that CMT's Median Age, which was growing at a 20% clip over the past two months, flattened considerably when compared to May 2009, and declined 14% from last month.


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 and adventure-based reality series.