TBS Analysis - September 2010

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SEPTEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

* Bold denotes programming change

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

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.

SEPTEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

M18-49

W18-49

Monday 8-11pm

-3%

-12%

-7%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-37%

-36%

-31%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-3%

8%

-3%

Thursday 8-11pm

7%

20%

-24%

Friday 8-11pm

5%

28%

6%

Saturday 8-11pm

4%

-32%

8%

Sunday 8-11pm

-19%

-16%

-23%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-8%

-12%

-11%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

SEPTEMBER 2010: TBS continued its downward trend this month, as household and adult 18-49 ratings fell to their lowest levels of the year. In fact, the last time TBS' core adult 18-49 ratings were this low was July of 2007. That was back when Tyler Perry and FAMILY GUY were starting a new chapter in TBS' life - the chapter where the audience age fell and ratings grew, and TBS became a vibrant young network. Eventually, FAMILY GUY expanded to 10 runs a week, bringing in young male audiences and Tyler Perry programming took over Wednesday nights, bringing women and African Americans to the network. But audiences are burning out on FAMILY GUY, as evidenced by the 25% drop in men 18-49 ratings over last year. And Tyler Perry fare doesn't get quite the pop it used to. October brings MLB playoffs to TBS, and in November Conan launches, bringing the next chapter to TBS.

But for now, let's take a closer look at what happened in September.

Mondays start out the week with a full roster of FAMILY GUY. While the program has lost a quarter of its core men 18-49 audience since last year, it remains the highest rated program on the network among men, and Mondays remain the highest rated night of the week among households, men and adults.

THE OFFICE was up slightly from last month, but continues to flounder without a FAMILY GUY lead-in. Ratings for men 18-49 are off 23% vs. last year. Despite this precipitous drop, the show still ranks #2 on core men, and #3 on adults. It looks like the right companion program could do a lot of good on Tuesday nights.

On Wednesdays MEET THE BROWNS pulled in top numbers, producing TBS' best household and female numbers of the month. Wednesday has been the most active night of the week on TBS, with new programs MEET THE BROWNS and ARE WE THERE YET? holding up the night as HOUSE OF PAYNE started to pull it down.

Movies dominated the rest of the week on TBS, with flat to down performances. Illustrating the decreased importance of movies to the ratings, the top rated adult 18-49 title, Titanic, placed 39th among all telecasts.

CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:

TBS reached a ratings plateau this year. After a long run of growing its young male audience base, viewers started to turn away. But hope is around the corner. When October's MLB play-offs are through, Conan is set to launch a new chapter in TBS' history. Can he usher in enough late-night viewers to put the network back on track?

It doesn't take much; just one hit primetime program could do the trick. TBS has a three-tiered strategy in place. The first offensive is new original animated comedies.  NEIGHBORS FROM HELL was the first to roll out, but it did not have much luck in the ratings department.  GOOD AND EVEL and THE BLACK FAMILY are in development.

Next, one-hour scripted comedies are being designed to help relieve FAMILY GUY from lead-in / lead-out duty to movies. GLORY DAZE starts up November 16th, and THE WEDDING BAND and HOUND DOGS are in active development. 

But the best bet is off-network acquisitions. THE BIG BANG THEORY and THE CLEVELAND SHOW will probably help TBS take the biggest strides towards rounding out the line-up, growing the audience and taking some of the ratings load off of FAMILY GUY's sagging shoulders

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