History Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - November 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of December 24, 2008)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

M 25-54.

NOVEMBER 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

HISTORY SUNDAY, GANGLAND, UFO HUNTERS, EXTREME TRAINS, MONSTERQUEST, THE UNIVERSE, SHADOW FORCE

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

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.  

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES: 

OCTOBER - NOVEMBER:

Tuesday - another overhaul for the night; inventory mix begins at 8pm followed by a return of THE UNIVERSE at 9pm; EXTREME TRAINS debuts in the 10pm slot

Wednesday - premieres of UFO HUNTERS takes over at 10pm

Thursday - night turns over again with MODERN MARVELS returning at 8pm, CITIES OF THE UNDERWORLD shifts up an hour to 9pm, and ANCIENT DISCOVERIES drops in at 10pm

Friday - SHADOW FORCE debuts at 10pm, replacing SHOCKWAVE

Sunday - CITIES OF THE UNDERWORLD premieres fills the 9pm slot, bumping the generic HISTORY SUNDAY for a few weeks

PREMIERES:

** November 7th - SHADOW FORCE
** November 10th - THE BRAIN
** November 11th - THE UNIVERSE (new season)
** November 11th - EXTREME TRAINS
** November 17th - EINSTEIN

DECEMBER AND BEYOND

PREMIERES:

** December 7th - 70's FEVER

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE: The momentum continues.  Network press refers to it as their best November ever in the A18-34 and A18-49 demos.  Target men 18-49 and 25-54 were up 10% and 5% respectively over last year.  Even better, the median age continues to hold steady the last few months, down about 5% from last year, and well within the younger target demos that advertisers covet. 

NOVEMBER 2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Mondays are looking good with the specials mix.  Led by EINSTEIN and VALKYRIE: THE PLOT TO KILL HITLER (tie-in to the Tom Cruise Christmas release), the night was up low double digits for men.  Another long awaited special, THE BRAIN, didn't fare so well.  Can't hit them all out of the park.

Tuesdays experienced growth in M18-49, but lost in M25-54.  Last year's specials mix skewed older than this year's series offering.  Premieres of THE UNIVERSE were strong.  Debut series EXTREME TRAINS drew very nice male audiences, well above average in both demo breaks.  Host is amiable, presentation is standard, information levels are good.  Plays nicely to the boyhood fascination with big things riding the rails.  Well done.

Wednesday was the highest rated night of the week.  Solid numbers from MONSTERQUEST and the return of UFO HUNTERS.  However, the big award goes to the Thanksgiving Eve presentation of THE WHITE HOUSE: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.  First Lady Laura Bush's tour of the executive mansion blew away the competition.  Who says you can't draw an sizeable audience on one of the biggest travel days of the year.

Thursday gave back Wednesdays gains.  Moving GANGLAND to Thursdays left a hole that premieres of ANCIENT DISCOVERIES couldn't fill.  The series was moved to 10pm to reduce the impact, but the damage has been done.  Repeats of CITIES OF THE UNDERWORLD were OK, but not enough to save the night.

Fridays jumped up as the rollercoaster week moves on.  GANGLAND premieres were strong as expected.  Newcomer SHADOW FORCE pairs well with the series, although it does lose a considerable number of the younger men from the lead-in.  Would be interesting to see how well the series does away from GANGLAND. 

Saturdays fall off single digits in the male demos, a victim of specials repeats not doing as well as last year's specials repeats.

Sundays rose 7% with younger men, stayed flat with M25-54.  Running GANGLAND repeats, with their younger appeal, at 8pm under the HISTORY SUNDAY umbrella explains the numbers.  CITIES OF THE UNDERWORLD at 9pm is a bad match with lead-in GANGLAND and the ratings show it, losing a significant portion of the M18-49 on two of the three weeks.  The obligatory JFK program around the anniversary of his assassination underperformed most of the network averages.

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

None announced.

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

None announced

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

DECODING THE PAST, MEGA MOVERS, DOGFIGHTS, ENGINEERING AN EMPIRE, BONEYARD

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