Food Network Performance/Schedule Analysis - June 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of August 2, 2009)

CURRENT AND SIGNATURE PROGRAMS:

FOOD NETWORK CHALLENGE

Host Keegan Gerhard travels to cooking competitions around the country, from local fish fries to major bake-offs.

THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR

Chef Bobby Flay and two Food Network executives challenge and judge ten chefs competing for the chance to host their own Food Network series.

IRON CHEF AMERICA

Food Network star Alton Brown referees this Stadium Kitchen format where celebrity professional chefs battle guest non-celebrity professionals.

DINERS, DRIVE INS & DIVES

Host Guy Fieri, 2006 winner of THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR travels the country to visit classic greasy spoons and hang out, mostly in the kitchen.

THE BEST THING I EVER ATE

Food stars from around the country name their favorite food so that we can travel to meet the chef in his kitchen to see how it's done.

DINNER IMPOSSIBLE

Chef Robert Irvine rises to incredible challenges, whether to serve a fund-raiser crowd of more than 1000 people, or an elegant dinner party, on short notice.

CHOPPED(COMPETITION/REALITY)

Hosted by Ted Allen (FOOD DETECTIVES) challenges four up-and-coming chefs to turn a selection of everyday ingredients into an extraordinary three-course meal.

Premiere date: January 13, 2009, at 10pm.

WILL WORK FOR FOOD (REALITY)

Host Adam Gertler (THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR) is exposed to the world of little-known food jobs.
Premiere Date:  January 19, 8:30pm.


JUNE 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE


TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

FOOD NETWORK CHALLENGE, THE BEST THING I EVER ATE, DINERS, DRIVE INS & DIVES, IRON CHEF AMERICA, CHOPPED, DINNER IMPOSSIBLE

ACE OF CAKES UNWRAPPED,THROWDOWN WITH BOBBY FLAY, GOOD EATS, WILL WORK FOR FOOD, DINNER IMPOSSIBLE.

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

This month the UNWRAPPED-DINERS, DRIVE INS & DIVES combination proved strong, on two different nights; Monday and Friday. Unwrapped usually provided a decent lead, which DINERS invariably built upon. Monday nights delivered textbook primetime success. Virtually every half hour built on its lead. Often the night finished at nearly double where it started.

THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR anchored a very strong evening of competitive cooking on Sundays at 9pm. Food Network Challenge provided a decent lead on which it built considerably. At 10 pm, depending on the night, CHOPPED, IRON CHEF AMERICA THE BEST THING I EVER ATE, all did well, but failed to hold the strong lead.

UPCOMING PREMIERES:

** CHEFS VS CITY (August 7)

** WHAT WOULD BRIAN BOITANO MAKE? (August 23 daytime)

** EXTREME CUISINE WITH JEFF CORWIN (September 17)

MAY 2009 RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH    F18-49    F25-54   
Monday 8-11pm      12%     15%        6%   
Tuesday 8-11pm      18%     25%       24%   
Wednesday 8-11pm  15%     33%       17%   
Thursday 8-11pm      11%    16%       4%   
Friday 8-11pm          36%     36%      34%   
Saturday 8-11pm      15%       5%      13%   
Sunday 8-11pm        33%     52%      35%   
MTWTFSS 8-11pm     20%     25%      19%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

What a month these guys had! Up, up, up! Month-to-month they were up HH 20% Monday through Sunday, with double digit growth in every demo. Year to year they were also up HH 20% Monday through Sunday.

Sunday, with FOOD NETWORK CHALLENGE, THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR and a mix of other competitive cooking formats, was all glitz, glamour, snazzy production values and competition. It's become a collective trademark look for the network that transformed droopy 1990s daytime recipe fare into indoor sports spectaculars. Sunday was up HH 71% over May, and it nearly doubled the average of all other nights.

But... consider this: 7 of the top 10, and 13 of the top- 20 telecasts in June were either DINERS, DRIVE INS & DIVES or THE BEST THING I EVER ATE. These two shows are light, easygoing, field-produced hangouts, where food, people who love food and the places where food is prepared are enjoyed like a bottle of beer, and a hammock on a summer afternoon.

For the moment, it seems just right: High-end pizzaz to kick off the viewing week on Sunday night -- a real upper to offset the Sunday night blues. And then, during the week, plenty of the de-adrenalized light-and-easy; a sort of nonfiction TV comfort food. Lest a viewer get lulled into the need for excitement elsewhere, the weekday schedule is stirred with liberal portions of stadium kitchen melodrama, and delightfully overwrought (and sometimes overweight!) sport-chefs.


PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

None announced.


PROGRAM RENEWALS:

None announced.


PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

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