CMT Performance/Schedule Analysis - January 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of February 19, 2009)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Adults & Females 18-49.

JANUARY 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

CMT ORIGINAL FILMS, EXTREME MAKEOVER HOME EDITION, SOUTHERN FRIED FLICKS,COMEDY CLUB, CMT CRIBS

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

The network eschews classic strategies of horizontal strips and vertical stacks in favor of a diverse mix of series, specials, and movies on each night.  Multiple exhibitions expose core series and anthology brands to wider audiences across the days and dayparts.  In late 2006, they introduced a consistently scheduled block on Fridays.  Titled "Sure Thing Fridays", it started with TRICK MY TRUCK and FOXWORTHY.   More recent residents include GONE COUNTRY, CAN YOU DUET, MY BIG REDNECK WEDDING, and CMT CRIBS.  The block has since shifted to Saturdays.  It remains the only consistent platform for premiere series on the network.   Movies are taking a larger presence across the week, now occupying around 30% of the total schedule.  While there are no regularly scheduled movie timeslots, Sundays have provided a good home for some of the better known titles.


PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

DECEMBER to JANUARY:

Saturday - MY BIG REDNECK WEDDING returns for a new season at 9pm; CMT CRIBS debuts at 9:30; GONE COUNTRY comes back the last week of the month at 10pm

PREMIERES:

** January 10th - MY BIG REDNECK WEDDING (new season)
** January 10th - CMT CRIBS
** January 24th - GONE COUNTRY (Season 3)

FEBRUARY AND BEYOND

PREMIERES:

** March 7th - TRICK MY TRUCK (New season)
** June 17th - CMT MUSIC AWARDS

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE: As happened last January, the month was basically flat vs year ago numbers, with just  a 6% bump in the A25-54 viewers.  In the three years we've been tracking the network, CMT has tended to get a nice rise after the new year, putting the year on year comparisons at a higher bar than normal.  After a slowdown in December, January regains some the late year momentum we were seeing with the addition of acquisitions to the schedule.  Month to month gains were significant, with A18-49 and A25-54 finishing up more than 20% from December. 

JANUARY 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS: Original productions returned to the schedule this month, two of them returning series, another borrowed format.  Nevertheless, it's the acquisitions that continue to hold up the averages.

On the original side, the newest offering is the adaptation of the CRIBS format from sister network MTV.  Much like the rock and roll version, this one features home tours of country's biggest stars.  Three per program, good pacing.  Our only request is a little more subtlety with the product integration (thanks for those repeated close-ups of Budweiser in Blake Shelton's fridge).  Ratings were just about average for Saturday night, and slightly ahead of the net's monthly averages.

New seasons of two returning series also bowed late in January.  MY BIG REDNECK WEDDING was back for its third season.  Ratings were on par for women, but below average for men.  Also back for a third season was GONE COUNTRY.  The reality format hosted by John Rich once again goes in search of a crossover artist ready to take on Nashville.  This season we're liking former Miss USA Tara Connor, but our early money is on Sheila E.  The premiere episode didn't fare too well with audiences.  Hopefully the earlier time slot in February will help.

The originals were nice, but the acquisitions carry the day.  As we saw in December, stripping EXTREME MAKEOVER HOME EDITION at 8pm continues to anchor the entire schedule.  Ten of the top 20 telecasts in January were episodes of the off-net series.  A couple prime time airings of NANNY 911 were a draw with the women, even though men are avoiding it.  Likewise, a few episodes of TRADING SPOUSES were solid, albeit not spectacular. 

Finally, movies, movies, movies.  Once they made an occasional appearance.  Now, they're a regular fixture across the week.  16 times in Prime Time to be exact.  They've made Sunday the highest rated night of the week, and given a boost across the schedule. 

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

NANNY 911, TRADING SPOUSES, EXTREME HOME MAKEOVER

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

TRICK MY TRUCK (3/09); CAN YOU DUET (6/09)

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

NANNY 911, TRADING SPOUSES

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