Sci Fi Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - April 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of May 19, 2009)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Adults 25-54 (Sci Fi's "Alternative Programming" skews younger - Adults 18-49.)

APRIL 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

GHOST HUNTERS, SCI FI ORIGINAL MOVIE, EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING, PRIMEVAL, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, HIGHLANDER: THE SERIES, MOONLIGHT, EUREKA, WCG ULTIMATE GAME

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Mondays in April continued the last several months' trends of stacked episodes of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.

EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING remains a staple at 9pm on Tuesday nights.  In April the lead-in was STAR TREK ENTERPRISE at 8pm.  The lead-out 10pm show was WCG ULTIMATE GAMER.

Wednesday nights remain all GHOST HUNTERS.

Thursday's lineup varied throughout the month with different stacked episodes.  Two weeks in April featured off-network aquisition MOONLIGHT, while a week was devoted to HIGHLANDER and a movie, and the fourth EUREKA.

With BATTLESTAR GALACTICA now retired, Friday nights in April featured Movies, and lineups of series, including MOONLIGHT and PRIMEVAL.

And, as per usual, Saturday's and Sunday's primetime lineups feature a variety of Sci Fi Channel MOVIES and ORIGINAL MOVIES.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

MARCH - APRIL 2009:  

PREMIERES

**Season 5 of GHOST HUNTERS premiered March 2009.

FINALES

**The finale of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA aired March 20, 2009.

APRIL  AND BEYOND:

PREMIERES:

**WAREHOUSE 13 is slated to debut July 7, 2009.
**GHOST HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL returns July 8, 2009, at 9pm.
**EUREKA returns July 10, 2009, at 9pm.
**GHOST HUNTERS returns August 19, 2009, at 9pm.

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE: Live Primetime Ratings Comparison:
April 2009 vs. April 2008  (% Change)

H'hold    M25-54    F25-54    P25-54
Monday 8-11pm               0%         9%            0%         0%
Tuesday 8-11pm              0%       17%         -29%         0%
Wednesday 8-11pm        33%      37%          30%        37%
Thursday 8-11pm          -11%      -20%         -14%       -13%
Friday 8-11pm                 -8%      -27%         -46%       -29%
Saturday 8-11pm            17%         5%            0%          6%
Sunday 8-11pm               17%         0%         50%         18%
MTWTFSS 8-11pm          8%          7%           0%           0%
*The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample April clearly saw its share of ups and downs for the Sci Fi network, which has recently completed the end of an era with the finale of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA last month.  Still, as has been the pattern, Wednesday nights continue to show growth over last year and it's clear that viewers aren't tired of the GHOST HUNTERS franchise.  Sci Fi continues to be on the lookout for a new companion series to the hit show and it appears that it's needed - and soon.

APRIL 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS: Numbers this month were all over the place in April for Sci Fi Channel as the schedule shifts and changes as old programs go out and clear the way for the upcoming rebrand to Syfy come July 7th.

Overall share was up 8% from March - not bad, despite the finale of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.  Women remained flat from a month ago.

Monday nights saw a 14% increase over last month - a jump that could possibly be attributed to the debut of the new STAR TREK film hitting theaters in May.  However, the night, though solid, is still one of the weakest of the week.

Tuesdays were flat from last month and the ever-changing lineup continues to suffer the same fate month after month.  EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING performs well above average in the 9pm slot, but the lead-in and lead-out shows aren't able to leverage those viewers.  Sci Fi continues to swap these programs in an effort to find that magic combination but this month's STAR TREK ENTERPRISE and WCG ULTIMATE GAMER are not doing the job (as lead-in and lead-out, respectively.)

Wednesday nights continues to climb as stacked episodes of GHOST HUNTERS continuously perform above-average week after week.  The night comes in just shy of being the strongest for the month of April in overal share.

Thursdays were up from last month, yet the night still performs below average, most likely due to haphazard scheduling and tired reruns.

Fridays in April saw a small drop from last month (and a big fallout among younger women.) The lineup of series scores all right, but there is clearly some decline from a month ago.

Saturdays were up modestly overall from a month ago and was the strongest night of the week for the network, with MOVIE and ORIGINAL MOVIES performing well during the month.  Top titles included War of the Worlds and Carny.

Sundays also saw a few above-average performances from MOVIES and MINISERIES, staples of the Sci Fi lineup. PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS: The Sci Fi Channel aquired two direct-to-DVD STARGATE Movies: Ark of Truth and Continuum

PROGRAM RENEWALS: SANCTUARY has started production for a second season.  13 episodes ordered.

DESTINATION TRUTH has been renewed for a third season, set to debut in Fall 2009.

SCI Fl announced an expansion of both the hit paranormal franchise as well as the Channel's partnership with Craig Piligian's Pilgrim Films and Television.  The multi-part deal includes a sixth season of GHOST HUNTERS, a second season of GHOST HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL and a six-episode order of the recently announced pilot GHOST HUNTERS: NEW GENERATION [working title].  In addition, Pilgrim will develop an entirely new series for the Channel with an eye toward a 2010 premiere.


PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

The final season of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA will consist of 10 episodes, followed by a 2 hour movie, which will begin airing in early 2009.

The final episode of STARGATE ATLANTIS aired in January 2009.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

INVASION, MOONLIGHT, SCARE TACTICS

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