Sci Fi Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - September 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of October 23, 2008)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

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

SEPTEMBER 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

GHOST HUNTERS, ECW, SCI FI ORIGINAL MOVIE, SCI FI MOVIE, EUREKA, DESTINATION TRUTH, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, LOST, STARGATE ATLANTIS, JEREMIAH.

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

On Monday nights in September, Sci Fi transitioned their normal lineup of STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION to the aquired LOST.

Thist month, stacked episodes of EUREKA at 8pm and 9pm lead into EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING at 10pm. 

Wednesday nights remains stacked episodes of the hour-long GHOST HUNTERS, followed by DESTINATION TRUTH in the 10pm slot.

Thursdays in August were various repeats of original series and then SCI FI MOVIES or ORIGINAL MOVIES later in the month.

Fridays in September were all about STARGATE ATLANTIS.

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

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

AUGUST 2008 - SEPTEMBER 2008.

**LOST replaced STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION beginning on Monday, Septemner 15th

**STARGATE ATLANTIS replaced last month's lineup of series on Friday nights.

PREMIERES:

**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.

SEPTEMBER AND BEYOND:

**STARGATE ATLANTIS will conclude in January 2009.YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

After a very successful August, Sci Fi channel has managed to retain most of its gains in audience. Compared to September of 2007, the Sci Fi Channel was flat in overall HH share, but the key male demos were up 7% from then.

Viewers are clearly responding well to the ever-expanding GHOST HUNTERS franchise (see the In Development page for more information on the latest installment.)  In fact, Wednesday nights saw the largest increase in viewership, up 50% from a year ago.

Also making strong gains were Sunday night's movie lineup - better produced, more compelling programming, is working hard to bring in eyes - and it's clearly paying off for the network.  And with more high-concept series and higher-profile programs looming for 4th quarter, things are looking quite good at Sci Fi these days.

SEPTEMBER 2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Wednesday nights' lineup of original series continues to be the star of the primetime lineup.  Up 13% from August '08, the night was the only one to demonstrate growth from a month ago.

Still, the Sci Fi Channel shouldn't be concerned yet - it's clear that the network is growing, bringing in new viewers, and managing to retain (most of) them.

The addition of LOST on the schedule for Monday nights is certainly high profile for the cable network, but unfortunately, after the first week, there was evidence that viewers were tuning out.  While the show is compelling, and arguably a good fit for the network, the Sci Fi channel isn't the only gig in town for the off-ABC acquision.  Viewers can get their fill of LOST not only on Sci Fi, but on G4, Hulu, and DVD.  Why bother?

Tuesday nights continues to score well with new episodes of EUREKA at 9pm, followed by ECW at 10pm.  With lead-in EUREKA holding the same numbers as ECW, it seems that this formerly tumultuous night may be settling down a bit with these two programs.

As noted above, Wednesday nights remains one of the strongest of the week, as new episodes of GHOST HUNTERS bring in some of the month's biggest numbers.  Though DESTINATION TRUTH at 10pm can't bring in the same numbers, it's not performing terribly either.

Thursdays lineup of reruns is still slow, and the night is, by far, the weakest for the network.

Fridays in September actually saw big increases across the male demographics, as STARGATE ATLANTIS returned to the schedule with a bang.

Saturdays and Sundays, both movie nights, were both down slightly from last month.  Still, Saturdays were one of the strongest nights of the week for the network.


PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:
The Sci Fi Channel aquired two direct-to-DVD STARGATE Movies: Ark of Truth and Continuum 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: Sci Fi Channel ordered another 9 episodes of SCARE TACTICS.

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:

JEREMIAH

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