TBS Analysis - March 2010

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MARCH 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

* Bold denotes programming change

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Monday night is =all FAMILY GUY and Tuesday is all THE OFFICE. Wednesday is the female skewing night, with Tyler Perry programming bringing women to the network. Thursday, Friday and Saturday start out with more FAMILY GUY leading into a movie (or vice versa). Sunday prime is usually all movies.

MARCH 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

LIVE PRIMETIME RATINGS COMPARISON March 2010 vs. March 2009 (% Change)

HH

M18-49

W18-49

Monday 8-11pm

13%

18%

28%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-38%

-31%

-32%

Wednesday 8-11pm

2%

-11%

4%

Thursday 8-11pm

18%

9%

7%

Friday 8-11pm

-8%

-17%

-15%

Saturday 8-11pm

-12%

10%

-25%

Sunday 8-11pm

-6%

16%

-33%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-6%

-3%

-11%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

March was TBS' best month of first quarter, but it is still performing below last year's levels.  On the surface, there was nothing new going on at TBS this month, but there were subtle changes that impacted the ratings. Of course the biggest change was no more Olympic competition from NBC.

The biggest ratings impact was felt on weekends, when movies were more action packed this month (Rush Hour 3, Shooter) than romantically focused, shifting the demo skew accordingly. The increase in male ratings was met with a double-digit decline among women. And so, versus last month adult 18-49 ratings for Friday through Sunday were up about 10%, and compared to last year they were down by about 10%.

On Wednesdays, MEET THE BROWNS went into all repeats as new eps of HOUSE OF PAYNE launched.  Net net for the night, women ratings were up very slightly.

Monday and Tuesday remain all FAMILY GUY and THE OFFICE respectively. Despite the massive exposure, FAMILY GUY continues to pull in solid numbers, growing slightly in core ratings. FAMILY GUY accounted for the top 14 men 18-49 telecasts this month, and 22 of the top 40 telecasts. In comparison, the best performing OFFICE telecast was number 40. THE OFFICE finally seems to have stopped its precipitous slide, actually improving men 18-49 ratings vs. last month by 3%. Compared to last year, when it was getting a FAMILY GUY lead-in, ratings are down by 30%.

As it approaches upfronts, TBS is in dire need of something new to talk about. Besides the slightly lower audience age, which might or might not be courtesy of LOPEZ TONIGHT, TBS is in serious danger of becoming stale. What's that? Conan is available???

CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:

TBS promised Conan whatever he asked for in order to get him to the network. In return, TBS is hoping for a lot of attention, help with its branding and cross-promotional opportunities that will drive viewers to its primetime programming. Most of all, TBS gets to talk about something new, relieve reliance on FAMILY GUY and seriously ramp up its "cool" factor. That's a lot to rest on one late-night host's shoulders.

What about primetime? The current schedule is showing its lack of depth and some audience burn out. TBS has a short list of new projects coming its way. Two hour-long pilots and three animated shows are in the works.  In the "more of what works" column, NEIGHBORS FROM HELL from the creators of FAMILY GUY and ARE WE THERE YET? from the creators of HOUSE OF PAYNE are safe bets for ratings success.

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