Discovery Performance/Schedule Analysis - June 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of July 26, 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.

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.

THE DETONATORS (SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY)
Follows two explosive experts, Dr. Braden Lusk and Dr. Paul Worsley, as they meet the blasters behind such structures as urban skyscrapers, massive steel bridges and giant stadiums. The Series gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the demolitions.
Status: Premiered January, 2009.  Produced by RDF USA.

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.

DOING DAVINCI (REALITY)
New show that will study Davinci's old blueprints, build them and test them out.  Think MYTHBUSTERS investigating Davinci's genius.
Status: Premiered: April, 2009. 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.


JUNE 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

AFTER THE CATCH, DEADLIEST CATCH, MYTHBUSTERS, SWAMP LOGGERS, PITCHMEN

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:

** July 2 - MOMENTS OF IMPACT
** July 12/13 - WILD PACIFIC
** July 21 - THE COLONY
** August 17 - OUT OF EGYPT

JUNE 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison:        
June 2009 vs. June 2008 (% change)       
HH    A18-49    A25-54               
Monday 8-11pm          22%    22%         32%               
Tuesday 8-11pm         31%    35%         33%               
Wednesday 8-11pm     1%      5%           4%               
Thursday 8-11pm        17%     17%       18%               
Friday 8-11pm              2%      3%          3%               
Saturday 8-11pm        15%     14%         16%               
Sunday 8-11pm          -4%      4%         -7%               
MTWTFSS 8-11pm     12%     15%         16%                

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Halting a steady downward trend, June comes back stronger then ever.  Target men were up 12% over last year, and were at their highest levels in almost two years.  The growth was evenly distributed with median age staying flat versus last year.  Chalk the growth up to Thom Beers and Will Ferrell. 

Top rated special for the month was MAN VS WILD featuring Will Ferrell in a product placement stunt for the theatrical release of Land of the Lost.  Ferrell's appearance generated 4M viewers, the series' largest audience ever according to the network's press.

Top rated series?  DEADLIEST CATCH of course.  The Thom Beers vehicle continues to rock the ratings, even in its 5th season.  Target men were up 25% over last year, and more than 30% over last month. 

DEADLIEST CATCH's impact on the network's overall performance is immense.  Along with a handful of lead-out programs (AFTER THE CATCH and ALASKA EXPERIMENT), the Alaskan content made Tuesday the highest rated night of the week.  Big time.  In fact, it doubled the network averages for the month, outpacing everything else by such a large margin that only one other night is even close to those same averages.   Says a lot about the strength of the series. 

MYTHBUSTERS featured a couple of premieres and reaped the benefits.  Numbers were up nicely over year ago for the long running series.  The final week of the month was a repeat, with numbers falling around 30% vs the premieres.  Need to keep the premieres coming if it's going to remain viable in the near term.

PITCHMEN finished June with some solid numbers.  Men were up 15% or so versus last month, but women dropped 3-5%.  One of the series' early strengths has been the above average numbers for women, but that seems to have disappeared this time around.  Following the sudden passing of the Billy Mays, the network wrapped the season with a very nice tribute to the series #1 star.  A second season was also announced, with Mays' son taking his father place on the show.

In the battle of tree cutters, SWAMP LOGGERS premieres just beat out a repeat of EXTREME LOGGERS.  The swamp version was just about average for the month.  With AMERICAN LOGGERS waiting in the wings, that's a lot of tree cutting going on.

TIME WARP featured a month of premieres, but sitll no traction.  DIRTY JOBS' best days are clearly behind it, with audience numbers falling again this month, and 25-30% from last year in the target male demos. 

Looking to boost Thursday nights, the channel borrowed RIVER MONSTERS from sister net Animal Planet, but to no avail.  The wildlife adventure series ran almost 20% below average for target men.

On the Sunday specials front, SOMALI PIRATE TAKEDOWN pulled a nice number for the target demos.  Several other specials weren't so lucky though.  PREHISTORIC NEW YORK and PREHISTORIC DISASTERS were below average for target men.  Likewise for INSIDE PLANET EARTH.  Despite playing off the title of the immensely successful PLANET EARTH, the two hour CGI science special also delivered below average numbers for the month.

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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