Syfy Channel Analysis - November 2010



* 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. The network continues to tinker with the mix each weeknight. Weekend movies remain the only constant, including the successful SYFY ORIGINAL MOVIES premiering every-other Saturday at 9PM.

Mondays have changed again this month; female-skewing GHOST WHISPERER is off the air and a full block of SCARE TACTICS has taken over. Wrestling moved from Tuesday nights to Friday nights, leaving typical sci-fi male skewing fare in its place this month - STAR TREK: NEXT GENERATION, SGU, HOLLYWOOD TREASURE and FACT OR FAKED. Wednesday's female skewing GHOST HUNTERS franchise now leads into reality-based HOLLYWOOD TREASURE. Thursdays used to be movies but the network changed direction this summer with the launch of a night of reality programs loosely based on science fiction. Fridays now start out with wrestling; which leads into a male skewing sci-fi drama.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / November 2010 vs. November 2009  (% 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

NOVEMBER 2010: November 2010 was not a great month in a not so great ratings year. Compared to last month, adult 25-54 ratings were off by 15%, and compared to last year they were off by a full 25%.

Good news came on Friday nights where the new WWE SMACKDOWN moved from Tuesday night's WWE NXT. The program topped all the ratings charts, and pulled Friday nights up by about 50% among men and 30% among women. But that brought bad news for Tuesdays where STARGATE UNIVERSE floundered, and was then cancelled.

But the real bad news was on Wednesday nights. Last year GHOST HUNTERS was the best-rated program on the network, and helped Syfy by bringing in women viewers. But this year, GHOST HUNTERS is down by 43% on core women 25-54, and in total primetime women are down by 30%.

Last month, FACT OR FAKED: PARANORMAL FILES and HOLLYWOOD TREASURE made a big impact, and received quick renewals. This month Syfy put them on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays with mixed results.  HOLLYWOOD TREASURE lost 63% of its adult 25-54 ratings vs. last month while FACT OR FAKED lost 27% of those ratings. A Sunday night marathon of the two shows in place of the usual movies helped pull down the Sunday night average by about 50% vs. both last month and last year.


There's a lot on the docket for the new year, and Syfy is starting to let go of its old franchises. The cancellation of STARGATE marks the first time the network will be without a STARGATE series (including STARGATE SG-1 and STARGATE ATLANTIS) since 2002. Will the new fare fill the gap?

Syfy is working to define and find audience for the three different genres of original programming: scripted dramas, reality and movies, not afraid to break the mold and try new formats. However, we see a consistent theme - the programming that sticks closest to traditional sci-fi fare pulls in bigger audiences. This was proven with the network's attempts with reality programming Thursday nights, and also with theatricals.

With no strip programming to act as a base or a steady foundation, Syfy seems to target a different audience each night of the week. This strategy covers the gamut, but forces audiences to work at remembering when to tune in.