OCTOBER 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:
* Bold denotes programming change
Monday night is animation night with FAMILY GUY, and Tuesday is all about THE OFFICE. Wednesday is the female skewing night, with Tyler Perry programming bringing women and African-American viewers to the network. Thursday and Friday start out with more FAMILY GUY leading into a movie (or vice versa). Weekend prime is usually all movies.
OCTOBER 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
LIVE PRIMETIME RATINGS COMPARISON October 2010 vs. October 2009 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
If it's October it must be post-season baseball on TBS! On the whole, this year's MLB coverage did not measure up to 2009, but TBS' coverage of game #6 of the Rangers/Yankees match-up delivered a 7.2 US rating and 11.9 million viewers, the most-watched league championship series in cable history.
Unfortunately, TBS was not able to carry the extra MLB audience into the rest of its line-up. Regular program ratings were flat to down vs. both last month and last year. Once again, high rated special programming could not turn the tide on TBS' sagging schedule.
FAMILY GUY continued its year-over-year decline with a staggering 19% drop in men 18-49 ratings. THE OFFICE wasn't far behind with a 14% drop. MEET THE BROWNS and HOUSE OF PAYNE faced steep declines on their core audience (young women) as well.
FAMILY GUY has been holding up the network as the top rated program. But with 10 runs a week, it has been facing audience burn-out, and it has been clear for a while that the program needs help. TBS tried giving it an original animated comedy from the makers of SOUTH PARK, but NEIGHBORS FROM HELL didn't work out. This month, AMERICAN DAD, the off-FOX animated comedy joined the TBS line-up. The network took advantage of a disrupted month to try out AMERICAN DAD on a few different nights. Most nights, the two programs alternated timeslots, and audiences left when AMERICAN DAD came on and then came back when FAMILY GUY returned. But, as the month went on the audience ebb and flow leveled out. TBS might have found the companion FAMILY GUY needed.
CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:
TBS has struggled to hold onto primetime audiences this year. The prime focus has been latenight (which just sounds wrong!). After TBS gets Conan up and running, can it translate his audiences to primetime? As we saw again with baseball this year, holding onto audiences across programming and dayparts is no easy task. The first sign of success or failure will be GLORY DAZE, the new comedy with a November 16 premiere. It is being heavily promoted on CONAN.