NGC continues to mix anthologies such as NAT GEO PRESENTS and EXPLORER with series both new (ROCKET CITY REDNECKS) and time-honored (INSIDE). Stunt scheduling utilizes multiple runs of popular series or thematically-similar specials slotted to maximize audience flow.
The Anthologies are utilized to house series as well as one-offs and mini-series. Premiere episodes of series often repeat the following week under one of the anthology umbrellas (e.g. NG PRESENTS) as a lead-in to the current week's new episode of the same series.
Monday and Tuesday are generally anthology driven, while Wednesday is utilized for series exploring the Sci-Tech side of NGC.
Thursday has moved from Science & Technology-themes to experimenting with a number of genres, as have previously Dog-oriented Friday and Natural History-centric Saturday. Now that all animal-related fare has migrated to sister network Nat Geo Wild, and Crime-oriented series have fallen out of favor, a number of different factual genres are being explored. Sundays are anthology slots used for specials, themed stacks and one-offs.
DECEMBER 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison /December 2011 vs. December 2010 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
NGC returned to positive territory this month on the heels of a 20-25% stumble in November, which followed four months of solid gains. Strong double-digit growth at the end of the week offset significant declines Monday and Wednesday. Science fare remains a challenge as the new Sci-Tech-themed Wednesday night suffered the steepest losses from last year for the second month in a row. New series KNIGHTS OF MAYHEM, ROCKET CITY REDNECKS and MAD SCIENTISTS struggled to establish viewership, but overall Median Age dropped 5% compared to December 2010.
Fifteen of NGC's Top 20 individual telecasts for the month dealt with lawbreakers - local, national and international. Episodes of ALASKA STATE TROOPERS (under several anthologies) were joined by specials on Nazis and cocaine smuggling to boost the monthly average. December was up in the 20% range for key demos compared to November.
Monday's losses can be attributed to a consistently weak performance for 8pm SECRET ACCESS, which was the network's lowest-rated series or anthology for A18-49 in December. ALASKA STATE TROOPERS ran under the NG PRESENTS umbrella from 9-11pm the last three weeks. Delivery was flat with last month.
While Tuesday declined modestly in HH and older demos from last year for the second month in a row, A18-49 grew modestly. New series ROCK STARS and KNIGHTS OF MAYHEM remained fairly consistent in demo delivery for their three respective weekly runs during the survey. Both series helped drive down Tuesday's Median Age by 18% from 2010. The special WORLD'S LARGEST CRUISE SHIP running under the NG PRESENTS anthology was the top draw for this night. Female demos were down sharply from November.
Science couldn't compete with Crime as Wednesday's new series ROCKET CITY REDNECKS and anthology INGENUITY dropped sharply from last year's BORDER WARS/ WILD JUSTICE-driven delivery. Female demos also dropped sharply from last month's Science-driven numbers.
Thursday took top honors for year-to-year growth in December, thanks in part to the specials DRAINING THE GREAT LAKES and FINDING THE NEXT EARTH. RW18-49 nearly doubled this month, compared to 2010's Sci-Tech themed block. Delivery was up by modest double digit percentages from last month.
Friday's Crime and Investigation-heavy lineup grew sharply from last year's DOG WHISPERER-led lineup. A 10pm strand of DRUGS, INC. episodes under the NG INVESTIGATES anthology consistently grew over its lead-in to take top honors each night. Delivery was up 50% across-the-board over last months' mixed-bag anthology approach.
Saturday and Sunday both benefited from episodes of ALASKA STATE TROOPERS , with Nazi's and cocaine submarines further stoking Weekend growth. Delivery was up significantly for HH and all demos compared to last month, with growth in Women demos in the 70% range.