Discovery Performance/Schedule Analysis - July 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of August 23, 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.

TIME WARP (NON-FICTION)
Using the latest in high-speed photography, the Time Warp team takes some natural events (a cat licking its paw, a champagne bottle being opened) "" and some not-so-natural (a water balloon to the face, a raw piece of chicken exploding) "" and turns them into a thing of both beauty and learning.
Status: Premiered Season 2 in April, 2009. Produced by Creative Differences

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

WRECKREATION NATION (REALITY)
Magazine format.  Host Dave Mordal shows off by trying out the many bizarre ways Americans fill their leisure time. Dave travels across the nation participating in everything from an Iowa/Illinois tug of war across the Mississippi River to attending alligator wrestling school in Mosca, CO.
Status: Premiered January 2009.  Produced by True Entertainment.


JULY 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

DEADLIEST CATCH, THE COLONY, SWAMP LOGGERS, EXTREME LOGGERS


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:

** August 17 - OUT OF EGYPT
** September 13 - MEGA BEASTS

JULY 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

22%

11%

18%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-2%

-5%

-5%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-10%

-2%

-2%

Thursday 8-11pm

-2%

12%

5%

Friday 8-11pm

13%

-6%

3%

Saturday 8-11pm

-6%

-5%

-7%

Sunday 8-11pm

-18%

31%

-22%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-3%

-4%

-4%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Following a stellar June, the network fell backwards in July.  Adults 18-49 and 25-54 were both down 4% from last year, much of that loss coming from women.  Those same demos were down 10% from June, spread evenly between men and women.  Small piece of good news with Men 25-54 up 3% versus year ago.  Median age jumped 5%, continuing a slow but steady rise upward over the last six months.  The network's median age is at its highest level since we've began tracking the number almost three years ago. 

DEADLIEST CATCH wrapped up another season on high note.  Once again, it's the network's highest rated series of the month across the board.  Tuesday premieres lead the way with repeats throughout the week not faring as well.  CATCH dominates the rest of the schedule by such a large margin that Tuesdays were the only night of the week to perform above the network averages for the month.  Now that's what you call a hit series.

THE COLONY gets off to a strong start.  Having DEADLIEST CATCH as your lead-in is always nice of course.  The series locks a small group of "survivors" into an LA warehouse in an armageddon based scenario designed to test their reactions.  The viewer has to suspend belief to immerse themselves into the concept, but it appears that enough of them are doing just that.  THE COLONY scores as the highest rated individual telecast, other than DEADLIEST CATCH, for the entire month. 

SWAMP LOGGERS handled itself pretty well on Monday nights.  Couple of premieres combined with a couple repeats overindexed for target men.  Monday nights were up significantly versus last year as a result, although that's more a reflection of a poor showing in 2008 than anything else.  Monday nights finished right at the network averages for the week. 

WILD PACIFIC, another offering from the BBC via Discovery, had a good showing.  All six hours were stacked on two consecutive nights (Sunday/Monday) in midmonth.  Much like a previous natural history event a few weeks back, the occasional appearance for wildlife has been effective.  Total viewers were steady and demos were solid on both nights. 

Several premieres of ONE WAY OUT were crammed into a Wednesday night.  The poor showing only reinforces the decision to pull the series earlier this year.

MOMENTS OF IMPACT debuted near the end of the month.  Audiences were well below network averages, especially for target men. 

The death of Walter Cronkite was commemorated with a full day run of his 1990's bio series, CRONKITE REMEMBERS.  Cronkite's role in the early history of the channel was critical and the marking of his life's work was well deserved.  Ratings weren't so kind unfortunately.  The prime time numbers were weak and probably drew a far older audience than the network is accustomed to the last few years.  

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

None announced.

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

TREASURE QUEST, AMERICAN LOGGERS, HOW STUFF WORKS, DIRTY JOBS; STORM CHASERS (10/09)


PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

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