APRIL 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:
* Bold denotes programming change
Food network has a ton of recognizable titles and rotates them through their schedule from month to month effectively. They use quite a lot of half hours. This network, more than most nonfiction channels these days, has a predictable Sunday night. On Sundays, high production value studio based cooking competitions reign. Food Network doesn't strip and Sunday night is the only reliable true stack. Other nights seldom run more than two episodes of a title, but will often match those two with a couple of similarly-spirited programs, creating a sort of affinity stack. At this shop, should anything less than three hours be called a short stack?
APRIL 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / April 2010 vs. April 2009 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
For the first month in quite some time, Food Network has multiple nights showing ratings declines in Households and W25-54. The two nights that stand out are Mondays and Sundays which are still the strength of the network. Has Guy Fieri reached the saturation point? The game show gig may have gone just a little too far.
Monday night's lineup was changed this month to move a double stack of UNWRAPPED to 8pm and BEST THING I EVER ATE moved in from 9-10pm. Triple D (DINERS, DRIVE-ins & DIVES) keeps motoring along at 10pm. Several factors could be contributing to the declines on Mondays: the schedule change may need a few weeks to catch on with viewers and other cable nets are scheduling Food programming on Mondays.
ULTIMATE RECIPE SHOWDOWN has not been as strong in ratings delivery as the recent past (and had CHEFs VS CITY replace it one week, where it delivered much lower ratings than ULTIMATE RECIPE SHOWDOWN). These two factors must be key components to the declines on Sundays.
PRIVATE CHEFS OF BEVERLY HILLS held up pretty well from its lead-in in the W18-49 demo showing modest declines but the gap widens when looking at both the Households and W25-54 demos (both showed significant double-digit declines).
CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:
This network, one of the most clever in the cable universe for many years, needs you. The snazzy, studio-based Super-Bowl-like cooking competitions are still solid, but DINERS, DRIVE INS & DIVES, a field-produced roadshow dominates at the moment. A competitor, TLC, has dipped its toe into these potentially lucrative waters with a new series about BBQ competitions, thus blending two proven concepts. Here, as much as at any network, personality rules. Guy Fieri (a competition winner himself) is what makes DINERS, DRIVE INS & DIVES work. Imagining that show without him is like thinking DIRTY JOBS on Discovery would work without Mike Rowe. So... look for a new twist for these folks, whether in the field or back in the studio. They're surely looking for both. But don't even think about it if you don't have some good, promotable on-camera talent in mind.