(Updated as of November 18, 2008)
Adults 18-34 & Adults 18-49
TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:
SONS OF ANARCHY, THE SHIELD, IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA
When movies represent nearly 100% of the primetime fare, biggest titles run on Thursdays and Sundays. When originals are on the air bigger movie titles are usually scheduled as lead-ins. In October there are four new series running.
Those series premiere on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. FX was never a network to run multiple encores of its series, a la BRAVO, and it has even given up on running encores on Sunday nights, so each show now gets just one primetime run.
SEPTEMER - OCTOBER:
The only change to the schedule is the addition of TESTEES, the new comedic companion to IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA. It replaces the 10:30 run of SUNNY on Thursday nights.
** October 9: TESTEES
NOVEMBER AND BEYOND
**January 6 @ 10PM: NIP/TUCK (5TH Season)
**January 7 @ 10: DAMAGES (13 eps, 2ND Season)
** March '09: RESCUE ME (13 eps, 5TH Season)
** November 20: IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA
** November 20: TESTEES
** November 25: THE SHIELD
** November 26: SONS OF ANARCHY
YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:
With SONS OF ANARCHY leading the way, FX's household and male audiences show healthy improvement over last year. Household audience is up +11% and men 18-49 audience is up by +14%. This year's women 18-49 audience is even with last year's.
Original programs continue to be the ratings leaders for the network, but subtle shifts have taken place since last year.
On Tuesdays, THE SHIELD runs at 10PM this year, while DAMAGES was running in that time slot last year. THE SHIELD is preferred by men and DAMAGES was preferred by women. This year's men 18-49 audiences were +17% higher than last year's, but 21% lower among women 18-49.
IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA was on the air on Thursdays in October '07 as well as October '08, but its audience delivery and composition has changed; while the program continues to deliver about the same amount of men 18-49, it is bringing in 20% fewer women 18-49 and 12% more households. So the program is more male and older.
FX has chosen to drop an encore presentation from Sunday nights in favor of strong movie titles (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Terminator, Batman Begins). While this doesn't do much for exposure of their originals, it does help in the short-term, as audiences show significant growth for the night vs. last year.
OCTOBER 2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
After a high-profile month of premieres in September, FX lost about 10% of its bottom-line household and female audience and 5% of its male audience this October.
Night to night losses were more extreme, with Monday taking the biggest hits. Household and 18-49 audiences were down about -20%; there was no programming shift here - just the fickleness of movie viewers. Increased Monday night competition was certainly a factor, as there were equally strong titles in both September and October.
Tuesdays were down about 10% for men 18-49 and 20% for households and women 18-49. THE SHIELD is still the number two program on the line-up, but it has seen quite a bit of fall-off since its premiere last month. The program is averaging about 20% lower this month.
On Wednesdays SONS OF ANARCHY is still the top performer for the network. Audiences have fallen just a bit from last month (demos down about 5%). The program is notable not only for its high ratings, but for its strong male delivery.
IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA has lost its fair share of audience (down 20% on households and men, down 10% on women) vs. last month, and lead-out program TESTEES drops about 20% to 25% of SUNNY's audience. Buoyed by movies, Thursday night has managed to hold onto most of last month's male audience (down just 5%), while the household and female audiences are down 20%.
Friday through Sunday on FX is all movies all the time. The movies came through for the network this month, as the end of the week saw the best audience improvements over September. Top performers were Mr. & Mrs. Smith, I Robot, XXX, Big Momma's House 2.
Although momentum is important, it was the original series that helped FX to a good month this October. While audiences for movies increased and original series audiences decreased vs. September, it was still the originals that pulled in the biggest numbers of the month.
It was announced in October that FX purchased the cable rights to three 20th Century Fox movies: Max Payne, The X-Files: I Want to Believe and The Rocker. FX paid an estimated $8 million for a four-year term that begins in late 2010/early 2011.
FX is very much a part of the 2008 theatrical pre-buy frenzy, snapping up aggressive packages from various studios. Chuck Saftler, FX EVP said in Variety it is part of their strategy to go after "every quadrant" of the 18-49 demo.
In June it was announced FX will pay approximately $11 million for the exclusive cable network-window rights to air the Sony film You Don't Mess With the Zohan starring Adam Sandler. FX's window opens in 2010 following the exclusive pay-TV run on Starz.
On March 25 a $115 million+ Universal deal was announced. The deal comprises most of the titles on Universal's 2008 slate; about 15 titles, many of which are prebuys. Titles include The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Wanted, Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Leatherheads. Other titles not yet released in the FX package include Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Deathrace, Baby Mama, The Express, Changeling and The Strangers. Titles already in theatres include Jarhead, Definitely Maybe, Doomsday (Rogue Pictures), Eastern Promises and In Bruges (Focus Features). The FX window kicks in about 28-30 months after the theatrical release, with the first of the bunch available summer 2010.
The Sony Columbia Pictures package also includes prebuys to five unreleased titles, which are Vantage Point starring Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox, The Pineapple Express starring Seth Rogan, Step Brothers starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, 21 starring Kevin Spacey and The International starring Clive Owen. According to Variety, the deal also includes these three other released films: Walk Hard, Untraceable and We Own the Night. FX is scheduled to air the featured films within about 28 months of their debut in theaters and pay-per-view channels.
Marvel has struck a deal with FX for the TV rights to Iron Man, Incredible Hulk and three others in another pre-buy arrangement.
FX paid $55 million for the exclusive network-window rights to five theatrical movies from 20th Century Fox: The Simpsons Movie, Live Free or Die Hard, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Death Sentence and Hitman. The movies become available to FX in fourth quarter 2009, after their pay TV runs on HBO. The movies are all consistent with FX's male-oriented programming strategy.
Other deals completed recently include Columbia's Spider-Man 3, Superbad and Ghost Rider and Disney's Wild Hogs.
SONS OF ANARCHY (Drama) Original series
Renewed for a full 13-episode second season.
DAMAGES (Drama) Original series
Picked up for two more 13-episode seasons.
IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA (Comedy) Original series
13 episodes in development premiered September 18. 39 additional episodes ordered, to air through 2011.
NIP/TUCK (Drama) Original series
22 episodes in production, 14 more have been ordered, for a total of 100 episodes. Its last season will be in 2011.
RESCUE ME (Drama) Original series
A 22 episode fifth season has been ordered.
THIRTY DAYS, the network's only reality show, was cancelled after three seasons
THE RICHES will not return for another season, with disappointing ratings cited as the culprit.
DIRT has not been picked up for the second half of its second season. (Just 7 of the 13 ordered episodes were produced, due to problems encountered from the Writers' Strike. Those 7 episodes performed well below the first season.)
THE SHIELD's last season premiered on Tuesday, September 2.
ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING: