(Updated as of February 21, 2009)
JANUARY 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:
ANCIENT DISCOVERIES, DECODING THE PAST, GANGLAND, THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES
Vestiges of the MODERN MARVELS strip still run at 8pm on several nights. Premiere series tend to run at 9pm, with 10pm reserved for encore plays and/or established inventory series. Thematic evenings take over on the weekend. Network tends to run two hour event docs on Saturday. Sundays have become the home for the umbrella theme "American Originals", including ICE ROAD TRUCKERS and AX MEN. Specials can be inserted on Sunday evenings without breaking the flow of the regular schedule. Stability has been the hallmark of the schedule. Multiple episode series and very few changes give the viewer several opportunities to find their programs and develop a pattern of appointment viewing.
DECEMBER to JANUARY:
Tuesday to Friday at 8pm was put on hold most of the month for some stunts, while the rest of the schedule remains stable;
** January 4th - NOSTRADAMUS 2012
FEBRUARY AND BEYOND
** March 2nd - AX MEN (Season 2)
** March 9th - BATTLES BC
** March 12th - WARRIORS
** March 29th - PREDATOR X
** April 21st - LIFE AFTER PEOPLE
YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE: While not a record breaker, January kicks off the year in fine fashion. First quarters past have traditionally been good for the network and it doesn't appear that 2009 will be the exception. Target male audiences are the highest we've seen since last March, and are off just a tad from last January. Target men jumped 15-20% from December, a significant rise. On the programming front, the early part of the month was heavily populated with specials and pre-emptions, so disruptions in viewing patterns could explain the slight drop from year ago.
JANUARY 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
It's an interesting month this time around. No series premieres and only a handful of episodic premieres for current series. Much of the month consisted of special presentations, weeklong stunts, and events, making it difficult to label most slots as having a "regularly scheduled" series.
The first week of the month (beginning just prior to New Year's Day and extending across the holiday period) offered the seven day stunt, SEVEN DEADLY SINS. The 9pm event started well on Monday and then quickly faded, hitting the low point on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
The second week featured another weeklong event, this time with an apocalyptic focus and much better results. Three premieres and three older repeats finished strong, outperforming the monthly averages in total viewers, as well as men 18-49 and 25-54. Highlight of the week was NOSTRADAMUS: 2012, drawing almost 4M viewers per the network's press. Looks like the end of the world gets our attention far more than our human transgressions.
A number of inventory repeats ran across the month under the generic strand umbrella TIME MACHINE. If it was a true series, TIME MACHINE would have ranked as the highest of the month. Regardless, several of the individual programs pulled more than their own weight. Tops on the list is WHITE HOUSE: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, running the night before the Presidential Inauguration. VALKYRIE: THE PLOT TO KILL HITLER continues to take advantage of the awareness created by the recent Tom Cruise film. These two programs and seven more found themselves in the network's Top 20 this month.
With the weeklong stunts and the atypical scheduling around the Inauguration, there were very few appearances by regular series in January. Looking to annual comparisons, THE UNIVERSE and MODERN MARVELS were on par with year ago numbers for men. Same thing can be said for GANGLAND. Unfortunately, MONSTERQUEST was off considerably from year ago, partly a result of aging, partly a result of continual repeats. CITIES OF THE UNDERWORLD only had three appearances, including one premiere, but it garnered pretty sizeable increases over last year's run.
ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:
DECODING THE PAST, MEGA MOVERS, DOGFIGHTS, ENGINEERING AN EMPIRE, BONEYARD