Discovery Performance/Schedule Analysis - August 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of September 22, 2009)

CURRENT AND SIGNATURE PROGRAMS:

AMERICAN LOGGERS (REALITY)
Follows the saga of their business & legacy, their hardship & triumph, the simple joys and tribulations of the everyday, doing what they know and what it takes to survive.
Status: Premiered inFebruary, 2009.  Produced by HalfYard Productions.

THE COLONY (REALITY)
Ten competitors are isolated for two months in a Los Angeles warehouse with no water, no electricity, and no contact with the outside world, with the goal of creating a functioning society.
Status: Premiered in  July, 2009.  10x60.  Produced by Original Productions.

DEADLIEST CATCH (NON-FICTION)
Crab fisherman in the Bering Sea and surrounding waters.  Called "the most dangerous job in the world.
Status: Season 5 premiered in April, 2009.  Produced by Original Productions

DESTROYED IN SECONDS (REALITY)
Host, Ron Pitts, will bring you clip after clip of the most shocking destructions captured on film.
Status: Currently airing Season 2.  Produced by Pilgrim Films.

DIRTY JOBS (NON-FICTION)
Dangerous or just plain lousy jobs, host Mike Rowe works right along side all of 'em.
Status; Premiered in 2003, currently in repeats.  Produced by Pilgrim Films.

MAN VS. WILD (NON-FICTION)
Adventurer Bear Grylls demonstrates how to survive in various dangerous spots around the world, showing skills that keep him alive and get him out.
Status: Currently airing Season 4.  Produced by Diverse Bristol

MYTHBUSTERS (NON-FICTION)
Is it true?  Or an urban legend?  These two special effects experts take the myths and put them to their own personal and scientific tests.
Status: Season 7 premiered in April, 2009.  Produced by Beyond Productions.

OUT OF THE WILD (REALITY)
Suburbanites are taken to the Alaskan wilderness and expected to find their way back to civilization.
Status: Premiered:  April, 2009 .  Produced by Pilgrim Films & Television.

PITCHMEN (REALITY)
Two ad salesmen ( Billy Mays & Andrew Sullivan) who evaluate products to push on television.
Status: Premiered in April, 2009.  Produced by Original Productions.

PLANET EARTH (DOCUMENTARY)
Blue Chip doc, produced with the BBC, used HD and quality photography to capture the Earth and all its natural wonders and wildlife.
Status: Premiered in April,2007.  Produced by BBC

SHARK WEEK (STUNT)
Annual collection of shark-related one-offs and series episodes.
Status: Summer event; premiering August 2nd this year.

TREASURE QUEST (DOCUMENTARY)
Join deepwater explorers Odyssey Marine Exploration as they search for "" and find "" some of the world's greatest shipwrecks and bring the ships' untold stories back from the mysterious deep.
Status: Premiered in 2008.  Produced by JWM Productions


AUGUST 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

SHARK WEEK, DEADLIEST CATCH, SWORDS ON THE LINE, MAN VS WILD, THE COLONY


SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Discovery continues with its strategy of Series at 9pm Monday through Friday to anchor each night:  Monday is ONE WAY OUT, Tuesday is DIRTY JOBS, Wednesday is MYTHBUSTERS, Thursday is DESTROYED IN SECONDS, Friday is AMERICAN LOGGERS.  Saturday and Sunday are anthology slots for specials, stacks and one-offs.

UPCOMING PREMIERES:

** September 13 - MEGA BEASTS
** October 6 - GHOST LABS

AUGUST 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison:
August 2009 vs. August 2008 (% change)

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

8%

11%

11%

Tuesday 8-11pm

24%

39%

51%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-11%

-12%

-4%

Thursday 8-11pm

-9%

-7%

2%

Friday 8-11pm

6%

-6%

3%

Saturday 8-11pm

20%

16%

22%

Sunday 8-11pm

29%

40%

38%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

9%

12%

19%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

On the surface, a very good August for the channel.  Adults 18-49 and 25-54 are up 12% and 19% respectively.  Target men are up by similar numbers.  Median age is up 12% from year ago, although down 4% from last month.  All pretty good news.

Underneath the surface, the story changes a bit.  Last year, August featured the Beijing Olympics, depressing the network's numbers dramatically.  The two year trends have the network down about 10% for the month.  The month to month numbers show a slight decrease from July.  The July to August drop has been the pattern the last few years and shouldn't be a serious concern.

August means Shark Week.  This year's event kicked off with the two hour drama/doc BLOOD IN THE WATER, recounting the 1916 shark attacks in New Jersey that inspired Jaws.  Premieres and encores followed across the next six days.  Looking to 2008, it appears the event was down about 6% in adults 25-54.  Most of that drop comes on the back half of the week.  Despite the fall from last year, the week was still 20% above the network averages for the month.  After 20+ years, the channel's signature stunt still has the power to boost the numbers.

The season finale and a few repeats of DEADLIEST CATCH were strong enough to make it the highest rated regular series for the month in the target demos.  Look for the boys from Alaska to be back next year with a sixth season.

Once Shark Week was over, SWORDS ON THE LINE debuted in the DEADLIEST CATCH timeslot.  It wouldn't be fair to expect ratings along the lines of CATCH of course, but the series certainly stood out in the schedule.  All three episodes landed in the Top 10 telecasts for the month, and it was the second strongest regular series for the month.  Our only concern is the number of women.  Male ratings are solid, but the women aren't showing up like they did with CATCH. 

THE COLONY lost some of its momentum on Tuesdays when DEADLIEST CATCH finished up.  Nevertheless, it was still well above average for target adults, men in particular.  A Monday stack late in the month underdelivered on the night.  Appears the regular timeslot and a strong lead-in works best.

MAN VS WILD had a month of premieres.  Target men were up almost 10% over last year.  Numbers were up massively from July, 35-55% for target adults.  Couple of Wednesday repeats weren't bad either.

AMERICAN LOGGERS featured three Thursday premieres, none of which garnered much traction.  Series fell below average across the board in the demos.  VERMINATORS was back with a couple of premieres.  A modest hit last year, audiences weren't as kind this time around. 

Taking the much coveted post Shark Week Sunday timeslot, two episodes of RAGING PLANET were slightly above network averages for the month.  A couple more episodes the following week dropped a little, holding right around the net averages.  Far more popular with men than women. 

The last two Sundays featured repeats of PLANET EARTH.  Two and a half years and still going strong, target adults were on or slightly above average for both weeks.

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

None announced.

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

TREASURE QUEST, DIRTY JOBS; STORM CHASERS (10/09)


PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

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