AUGUST 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?
AUGUST 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / August 2010 vs. August 2009 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
Food Network's downward trend continues with demo losses from last year on all but two nights.
Sunday night has been a strong spot for Food with competition series like FOOD NETWORK CHALLENGE, IRON CHEF AMERICA and the finale of THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR. Sundays showed a solid growth over last year along with Friday's growth driven by the strong Lineup of CHOPPED, DINERS, DRIVE-INS & DIVES and CHEF VS CITY.
Mondays are showing a surprising double-digit dip from last year in spite of Guy Fieri's Triple D anchor at 10pm. UNWRAPPED and BEST THING I EVER ATE didn't provide a strong lead-in most weeks this month.
Thursdays showed the largest declines with repeat episodes of regular series (GOOD EATS, IRON CHEF AMERICA and ACE OF CAKES). Saturday nights had the next largest declines this month. The current stacking strategy has worked well in previous months for Saturday nights but the mix this month didn't work.
Freshman offering 24 RESTAURANT BATTLE either held or improved it's lead-in every week on Wednesday nights. FAMILY STYLE only had one airing on Thursday at 10 but dropped 40% from its lead-in.
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.