MARCH 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 rein. 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?
MARCH 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / March 2010 vs. March 2009 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
Talk about making all the right moves, Food Network has been on an amazing growth spurt that continues to keep rolling. It's nitpicking but Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays were either flat or even showed slight dips in the female demos from last March but that was more than counter-balanced with Double-digit growth on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Guy Fieri's driving three nights for Food Network with "Triple D" (DINERS, DRIVE-INS & DIVES) on Mondays and Fridays and ULTIMATE RECIPE SHOWDOWN coming back on Sundays (the "Triple D" stack on one Saturday this month really helped too).
DINNER IMPOSSIBLE moving to Wednesdays at 10pm seems to be working too, it built most weeks 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.