JULY 2011 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.
JULY 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / July 2011 vs. July 2010 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
A great month all around. Near 100% increases have been the norm and July was no exception. The wealth was spread evenly amongst men and women. Median age was down as well.
In terms of raw numbers, actual delivery of A25-54 was the highest number since January. High enough that it beats out Travel Channel, National Geographic, and sister networks Animal Planet and OWN for target adults.
Two new series this month. I MARRIED A MOBSTER debuted in the Wednesday 10:30pm slot with some stellar numbers. The Lorraine Bracco hosted vehicle was the highest rated series on the schedule for target adults.
TRUE GRIME: CRIME SCENE CLEAN-UP launched on Tuesdays at 10pm. Numbers were right about average for the month, but did lose a bit from its lead-in.
WHO THE BLEEP DID I MARRY was back for a second season on Wednesdays. Premiere episodes drew strong ratings. Repeats across the rest of the schedule were right around schedule averages.
BEHIND MANSION WALLS was down from June, but still carried Monday nights. Likewise, DEVIL YOU KNOW was off from last month, with premieres doing well and repeats fading. WICKED ATTRACTION was up 20% over its June performance. ON THE CASE WITH PAULA ZAHN dropped slightly on Sundays.
The trio of broadcast network newsmagazines reworks had a mixed month. CBS's 48 HOURS ON ID led the way. ABC's 20/20 ON ID was about average, and NBC's DATELINE ON ID was a hair below average.
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.