Sci Fi Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - July 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of August 25, 2008)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

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

JULY 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING, GHOST HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL, SCI FI ORIGINAL MOVIE, SCARE TACTICS, SCI FI MOVIE, GHOST HUNTERS, STARGATE ATLANTIS, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, DOCTOR WHO, TWILIGHT ZONE

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Monday nights in July remained stacked episodes of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.

STAR TREK ENTERPRISE moved to Tuesday, where stacked episodes at 8pm and 9pm lead into EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING at 10pm.

Wednesday nights remains stacked episodes of the hour-long GHOST HUNTERS, followed by the premiere of the new SCARE TACTICSA at 10pm and 10:30pm.

Thursdays in July were back-to-back-to-back episodes of JEREMIAH, an acquisition off of Showtime.

Friday was a lineup of originals - in July it was JOAN OF ARCADIA at 8pm, DOCTOR WHO at 9pm, and STARGATE ATLANTIS in the 10pm spot.

Saturday's and Sunday's primetime lineups feature a variety of Sci Fi Channel MOVIES and ORIGINAL MOVIES.

There was a TWILIGHT ZONE marathon on Thursday, July 4th.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

JUNE 2008 - JULY 2008:

**STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION replaced STAR TREK ENTERPRISE on Monday, starting on June 2, 2008.
**STAR TREK ENTERPRISE moved to Tuedsays in the 8pm and 9pm slot, leading into ECW.
**SCARE TACTICS premiered on Wednesday nights at 10pm, taking over one of the GHOST HUNTERS spots.
**Stacked episodes of JEREMIAH replaced MOVIES on Thursday nights in July.
**JOAN OF ARCADIA took over the Friday 8pm spot.

PREMIERES:


**CHARLIE JADE premiered on 6/9/08 at 8pm.
**SCARE TACTICS premieres 7/9/08.
**New episodes of STARGATE ATLANTIS premiere on 7/11/08.

JULY AND BEYOND:

**New season of ECW premieres 9/30/08 at 9pm.
**SCARE TACTICS premieres 9/30/08 at 10pm.

FINALES:

**EUREKA finale on 9/23/08.
**STARGATE ATLANTIS will conclude in January 2009.

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

Compared to July of 2007, the Sci Fi Channel was flat in HH share.  There was some growth (9%) in Women, 18-49 from last year and also in the older demographics.  Men 25-54 were up 6% over last year and Women 25-54 grew 8%.  The nights that experienced the most growth from last year were Wednesdays, up 13%, and Sundays, up 23%.    The remainder of the nights were flat, or took a loss from July of 2007.

What does that mean for Sci Fi?  It's clear that their original series are doing well for them - GHOST HUNTERS, and the premiere of the new SCARE TACTICS on Wednesday nights show that that the Sci Fi Channel can successfully attract a mainstream audience.  Their Saturday and Sunday night movies (in July, mostly acquisitions), come with a built in audience that is tuning in.  But the other nights definitely seem to need the added boost of some new original series that can successfully appeal to the GHOST HUNTERS audience (namely, younger, and more female.)  SCARE TACTICS is working so far, but what's next for the network? 

JULY 2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS: The Sci Fi Channel was relatively flat versus June 2008.  While some of the nights expereinced a nice jump, the majority grew either slightly, or fell from a month ago.

Though Monday nights initially did well with the switch to STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION from ENTERPRISE, the night was flat since last month.  Women dropped off, falling 14%, but older men, 25-54, saw an audience growth of 6%.

Tuesdays saw very positive growth from last month, up 20% overall.  This was clearly from EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING.  Unfortunately, for another month, lead in STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE at 8pm and 9pm can't bring in the same audience as ECW can at 10pm.

Wednesdays were flat from a month ago but still coming in as one of the strongest nights of the week.  GHOST HUNTERS continues to perform above average and SCARE TACTICS also posted a strong showing.  The show had a slight drop in its second and third week, but is still performing well.

Thursdays is the weakest - and oldests - nights of the week for Sci Fi.  This month, all key demos saw big losses.  Reruns of JEREMIAH (off network acquisition from Showtime) aren't resonating as well with an audience as some of the other originals on the network.  On a postive, note, however, the show maintained its numbers throughout the nights and the month, so it is possible that as viewers get more involved in the program, the ratings could grow - if Sci Fi continues to give it a chance!


STARGATE ATLANTIS continues to pull in above average numbers on Friday nights at 10pm.  Lead ins JOAN OF ARCADIA and DOCTOR WHO also scored well, though JOAN OF ARCADIA clearly lost viewers throughout the month.  Strong possibility that the program just skews too young for a Friday night Sci Fi auidence.

Saturdays and Sundays both perform above average for the network, attracting a nice-sized audience with the lineup of MOVIES and ORIGINAL MOVIES.  This month, top performers were the ORIGINAL MOVIE Anaconda 3 and part of MOVIE The Langoliers. (The latter which happens to be a personal favorite of this analyst.)

ADDITIONAL RATINGS INFORMATION:

The premiere of season #3 of Sci Fi Channel's original series Eureka debuted on Tuesday night (7/29) at 9p and delivered 2.808 million total viewers.  In the key demos, Eureka deliver 1.426 A25-54, and 1.301 million A18-49. That makes this premiere episode the most watched performance of the series since its series premiere in July 2006, and made it the #1 cable program for the day among A25-54.  (Sci Fi Channel Press Release)

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

LOST (aquisition from ABC), will begin airing on September 15, 2008, at 7pm.  Sci Fi will air all four seasons in four-episode blocks every Monday during the fall.

PROGRAM RENEWALS: A new season of ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) will premiere on Tuesday, September 30 at 9pm and will be followed by new episodes of SCARE TACTICS, with Tracy Morgan, at 10pm. They replace EUREKA, the mid-season finale of which will air on September 23.  Remaining episodes of EUREKA and STARGATE ATLANTIS are expected to be aired in 2009. (C21)

SCI FI Channel is stretching the current seasons of GHOST HUNTERS and DESTINATION TRUTH. Thirteen new episodes were ordered for GHOST HUNTERS' fourth season airing on Wednesdays at 9p, and DESTINATION TRUTH will be back this fall with seven more episodes for its second season.  (Cynopsis)

CHARLIE JADE (20x60), a "...CGI-laden drama series from the UK's Park Entertainment that stars Jeffrey Pierce (The West Wing, Boston Public) and Marie-Julie Rivest (Savage Messiah)." (C21 Media.)

MIND CONTROL WITH DERREN BROWN returns this fall with six one-hour episodes.


PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

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

The final episode of STARGATE ATLANTIS will air in January 2009.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

TWILIGHT ZONE, JEREMIAH, DOCTOR WHO

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