DECEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:
* Bold denotes programming change
The strategy is a clean checkerboard. Monday through Friday it's individual series in prime. Library series from the broadcast networks alternate at 8pm forming a quasi-strip. Saturday showcases inventory series and repeats with mini-stacks. Sunday night anchors the schedule with premiere series.
DECEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / December 2010 vs. December 2009 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
This is our debut analysis for Investigation Discovery so we're going to keep it topline with a quick glance at each night of the week.
Monday falls on average for the month. CBS's 48 HOURS ON ID leads off, under performing schedule norms. Star of the night is DISAPPEARED at 10pm, and takes the #3 spot overall for the monthly schedule.
Tuesday is the second best night of the week for target A25-54. DATELINE ID starts things with decent audiences. The night builds, culminating at 10pm with I ALMOST GOT AWAY IT, the second highest rated series in December of A25-54.
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday all fall below average for target adults. No single series stands out on a regular basis. Single airings of DEADLY WOMEN and COPS AND COYOTES at 10pm garnered top numbers. Weaker performers included 48 HOURS ON ID, DATELINE ON ID, and a couple runs of MAIN STREET MYSTERIES.
Saturday was a little below average. There are no regular series on Saturday, just a different series stacked each week. The biggest driver was a Christmas marathon of I ALMOST GOT AWAY IT.
Sunday was the strongest night of the week for target adults. A block of 48 HOURS ON ID at 8pm builds across the 8-10 block. The big performer of the night at the network in general is ON THE CASE WITH PAULA ZAHN. The former broadcast personality presents the weekly series, garnering the largest audiences on the channel.
CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:
Network and independent press will variously describe ID as the fastest growing network over "X" period. While they might use different demos or date ranges, the essence of the message is what's important. Investigation Discovery, or ID for short, is on the rise. It may be on the digital platform, but don't underestimate it as a competitor with or commissioner of original programming. ID is very clearly both and plans to be for a long time.
Two areas we'll be watching are median age and advertising. Median age on ID is one of the oldest in the Cable U Top 30. No surprise for anyone that's followed this genre over the years. On the advertising side, younger viewers are always the key. A channel doesn't have to go MTV young, but a median age in the 40's is pretty important. ID has a ways to go before it see those numbers.
Attracting advertisers has consistently been the challenge with the crime genre. Strong audience figures are nice, but they need to translate into dollars. Non-fiction networks have always struggled with the right mix within their schedules. ID's schedule is 100% within the crime genre by definition. A challenge indeed.