TBS Performance/Schedule Analysis - July 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of August 21, 2009)

CURRENT AND SIGNATURE PRIMETIME PROGRAMMING

THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW
(SITCOM)
Engvall gives a humorous look at parenting in the modern world, playing a family counselor who struggles to figure out his own family issues.
Status: 3rd season returned in July (new Saturday night timeslot). Produced by: Parallel Entertainment and TBS

FAMILY GUY (SITCOM)
Animated series about a dysfunctional family and a talking dog.  (Off Fox.)
Status: On TBS'(Tm) primetime schedule. Produced by: 20th Century Fox

FRIENDS (SITCOM)
Sitcom about group of friends in New York City.  (Off NBC.)
Status: On TBS'(Tm) primetime schedule. Produced by: Warner Brothers Television

MEET THE BROWNS (SITCOM)
Tyler Perry sitcom based on the movie and play of the same name.
Status: On TBS'(Tm) primetime schedule. Produced by: The Tyler Perry Company / Debmar-Mercury LLC

MY NAME IS EARL (SITCOM)
Sitcom follows a man who wins a small lottery, has an epiphany and sets out to right all the wrongs from his past. (Off NBC)
Status: On TBS'(Tm) primetime schedule. Produced by: 20th Century Fox Television

THE OFFICE
(SITCOM)
Sitcom follows the daily interactions of a group of idiosyncratic office employees via a documentary film crew's cameras. (Off NBC)
Status: On TBS'(Tm) primetime schedule. Produced by: Universal Studios Media / Reveille

TYLER PERRY'S HOUSE OF PAYNE
(SITCOM)
Syndicated sitcom focused on a multigenerational working-class family.
Status: Repeats currently on TBS primetime. Produced by: Debmar-Mercury LLC / The Tyler Perry Company

JULY 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS

MEET THE BROWNS, FAMILY GUY,  HOUSE OF PAYNE, THE OFFICE

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

TBS runs original and off-net sitcoms in back-to back one or two hour blocks from Monday to halfway through Wednesday. Thursday and Friday start out with sitcoms that lead into a movie. Weekend prime was all movies, but this month brought THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW on Saturday nights at 9PM.


UPCOMING PREMIERES:

LOPEZ TONIGHT: November, Monday - Thursday at 11PM.


RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison: 
July 2009 vs. July 2008(% Change)

HH

M18-49

W18-49

Monday 8-11pm

14%

45%

1%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-9%

-9%

-12%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-22%

-33%

-18%

Thursday 8-11pm

-18%

-34%

3%

Friday 8-11pm

-7%

35%

0%

Saturday 8-11pm

-15%

-31%

-8%

Sunday 8-11pm

-40%

-47%

-39%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-16%

-13%

-13%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

With nothing on the line-up to blow in some much-needed fresh air, TBS has not been able to escape the summer doldrums. The network is losing the ground it gained over the last couple of years. TBS'(Tm) household rating was at its lowest level since September 2006. The last time women 18-49 ratings were this low was July 2007. As you can see in the chart above, men 18-49 ratings are down as well. TBS is not a strong summer network, opting not to put on new episodes or launch new series at this time of year. Instead, they seem to have left the glory to sister network TNT as TBS gears up for baseball playoffs in the fall.

On a month-to-month basis the story is mellowed, it's the long-term look that sheds such a negative light. On average, the Monday - Sunday female ratings are down just 1% vs. June. Unfortunately, they are down the most (-29%) on their strongest night, Tyler Perry Wednesdays. Men are down 9% vs., June, with double digit declines on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

But it's all about the programming, so let's take a look. At the top we have FAMILY GUY. With 10 runs each week, it is the most scheduled program on the lineup. It holds up Monday nights, is the foundation for Tuesdays, and has given a boost to Friday night movies. It is the biggest force on the network among men. And after all that air-time, plus a strong presence in syndication and Cartoon Network, the program continues to gain audience on TBS. It drew 15% higher men 18-49 ratings vs. last year and 5% higher than last month.

Following FAMILY GUY on Mondays is male-skewing MY NAME IS EARL, and on Tuesdays is male-skewing THE OFFICE. Both programs are flat to slightly up vs. year ago. 

On Wednesdays the network moves on to women with Tyler Perry programming - MEET THE BROWNS and HOUSE OF PAYNE. MEET THE BROWNS was back in repeats in July, so even though it was the top rated program on households and women, it was down by over 30% across the board vs. last month. HOUSE OF PAYNE lost 24% of its women 18-49 ratings vs. last month and 35% vs. last year.

THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW returned this month, but TBS put it in the very difficult Saturday night timeslot, and then hid it between two movies. Not surprisingly, the audience for the program is off by over 30%.

Movies are the final piece of the TBS line-up, and they did not do well this month. BILL ENGVALL on Saturdays and a Sunday night repeat of TNT's DARK BLUE didn't help the audience flow. The only new title of the month, Music and Lyrics, underperformed the average. The PRIME MOVIE skein usually does well with either men or women, but this month the numbers were down 33% for men and 25% for women.

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

In July, TBS ordered 20 additional episodes of TYLER PERRY'S HOUSE OF PAYNE, taking the sitcom's total number of episodes to 172. Originally premiering in 2006 with 10 episodes, TBS followed the successful test-run with an order for 90 more episodes, then two more orders of 26 episodes each, plus this current order. HOUSE OF PAYNE is owned by Perry, licensed by TBS and distributed by Debmar-Mercury. MEET THE BROWNS was licensed from Debmar-Mercury using the same business model.

ARE WE THERE YET?, which is loosely based on the movie of the same name, was ordered from Debmar-Mercury using the same business model as HOUSE OF PAYNE and MEET THE BROWNS. The sitcom is set to launch with 10 test episodes in June 2010, with the potential to add an additional 90 eps.

A TV-exclusive 13-title movie package was picked up from Warner Bros. In May 2009. Titles include Terminator Salvation (for TNT), Watchmen, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Gran Torino, The Hangover, The Informant and Sherolock Holmes. Each movie will air about 30 months after their theatrical releases, putting the start date at the end of 2011.

A Lionsgate deal was announced in April 2009, that will give TNT and TBS first network TV rights to The Bank Job, Transporter 3 and Crank: High Voltage, and more importantly for TBS, Tyler Perry movies Madea Goes to Jail and The Family That Preys in 2010 / 2011. Second-window rights were purchased for Disaster Movie and My Best Friend's Girl.

TNT and TBS signed up for theatrical prebuys for cable rights to New Line and Picturehouse titles: The Women,Journey to the Center of the Earth, 17 Again and Four Christmases.

TBS signed a Lionsgate deal valued between $8 and $10 million, which also included pre-buys. Titles include Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns (begins 2010) and Larry the Cable Guy's Witless Protection (begins 2010), allowing TBS to lock in those franchises. Other titles include Lord of War and In the Mix, which will become available this spring.

At the end of February '08, TBS and TNT completed a big movie purchase from WB. Among the titles likely to appear on TBS are Get Smart and Yes Man. TBS will be able to start running Ant Bully in June. The rest of the movies will trickle in to the two networks throughout 2010 and 2011.

A $12 million Lionsgate movie package was sold to TBS and sister network TNT, and includes titles such as Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married and Daddy's Little Girls, Bernie Mac's Pride and Bill Engvall's Delta Force.

Rush Hour 3 from New Line begins airing in 2010, Fracture begins in 2009.

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

No recent announcements.


PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

No recent announcements.

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