Syfy Channel Analysis - June 2011



* Bold denotes programming change


Syfy programs its line-up differently every night of the week, with no strips or similar fare to carry viewers across the week. Most nights have seen dramatic change in recent months, with weekend movies remaining the only constant, particularly the SYFY ORIGINAL MOVIES premiering every-other Saturday at 9PM.

Mondays have shifted from low-rated GHOST WHISPERER, STAR TREK and SCARE TACTICS to original series. Mondays are being set up to be a marquee night this summer. Tuesday has been underperforming with alternate reality this spring with DESTINATION TRUTH and MARCEL'S QUANTUM KITCHEN, but is back to movies for now. On Wednesdays the once powerful GHOST HUNTERS franchise is fading and newer reality programs are moving in. Thursdays went from reality programming to movies, to acquired series TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, back to STAR TREK: NEXT GENERATION , to a mix of movies, STAR TREK and FEAR FACTOR this month. WWE SMACKDOWN has revitalized Friday nights, bringing a lot of new male viewers to the net and a solid male lead-in for Friday night series (URBAN LEGENDS and HAUNTED COLLECTOR this month).


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / June 2011 vs. June 2010  (% Change)




Monday 8-11pm




Tuesday 8-11pm




Wednesday 8-11pm




Thursday 8-11pm




Friday 8-11pm




Saturday 8-11pm




Sunday 8-11pm




MTWTFSS 8-11pm




Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

JUNE 2011:  SYFY made some headway this month, as it improved ratings over May, its worst performing month in years. However, improvements were minimal and bottom line numbers bring in June as the second lowest performing month of 2011. Compared to May, men held steady while women came back, primarily because of GHOST HUNTERS. Compared to 2010 men improved slightly, primarily because of Friday night's WWE, while women dropped by 22%.

Syfy continues to change, with dramatic scheduling shifts each month. This month Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights underwent program changes. Next month brings even more change as the summer series begin. June puts the ball in place for programmers to spike it in July, as six original programs debut over the course of just one week. But more on that next month. For now, let's look at June.

Monday nights are the new focus, as STAR TREK and GHOST WHISPERER are distant, low-rated memories. Movies and SANCTUARY filled the night, and performed just below the network average. As SANCTUARY came to a close its ratings gained momentum, and the series will be back.

Tuesdays were all movies again, but they were more united in theme than they were in May. Action-packed, male skewing movies were the rule, with titles like The Core, Bourne Ultimatum and Syfy's Anaconda 3 leading the way.

Wednesdays were once a stronghold for women with GHOSTHUNTERS acting as a beacon to the paranormal fare.  But GHOSTHUNTER's core women 25-54 ratings are off by 36% vs. last year. Now Friday's wrestling night and Saturday's movie night regularly beat paranormal Wednesdays' female ratings.

Thursday night is still a mash-up, this month even more than most. The disparate fare found its way to the bottom of the ratings rankers. AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR, STAR TREK: NG and FEAR FACTOR took the bottom three slots. Thursdays are still up for grabs on Syfy.

Fridays, however, have found a lot of success with WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN. Even though it stumbled vs. last month, losing a little more than 10% of men, the program reigns at the top of the ratings charts among men, women and households. And Friday nights' men have doubled from last year.

On weekends original movies and particularly acquired movies continue with a strong male skew. Acquired movies are somewhat steady for Syfy, slightly growing men vs. both last year and last month. The standout original movie this month was Swamp Shark.


Two years after its rebranding, Syfy continues to evolve its programming and its audiences. It has explored new genres and retooled nearly every night of the week in an attempt to keep its core sci-fi fans while cultivating and defining the new syfy viewer. The quest has met with some success and a lot of failures, but the quest goes on. The network is planning over 100 hours of original programming for the 2010/11 season. New series run the gamut, spanning genres and formats - dramas, reality, paranormal, competition, and even celebrities.