TBS Performance/Schedule Analysis - September 2008



(Updated as of October 22, 2008)


Adults 18-34, Adults 18-49 & Adults 25-54.





TBS runs original and off-net sitcoms in back-to back one or two hour blocks from Monday to half-way through Thursday. Friday is usually a one-hour block of off net sitcoms followed by DINNER AND A MOVIE. Weekend prime is all movies.



BILL ENGVALL and MY BOYS ended their Thursday runs at the beginning of August, and were replaced with movies, prompting the lead-in on Thursdays to switch from FAMILY GUY back to FRIENDS (its original NBC night).


MLB:  SUNDAY MLB ON TBS includes regular-season games each Sunday afternoon throughout the regular season, which began April 6th. The network also televised the MLB All-Star Selection Show on Sunday, July 6th, and will cover the Division Series in October and, for the first time, exclusive coverage of the American League Championship Series (ALCS).


TBS' Monday through Sunday audience levels are basically the same as last year's. The only demo to see significant bottom-line movement was women 18-49, who dropped by -13%. Households and men moved by two percent or less, and women 25-54 dropped by five percent.

But of course, the night-to-night and more pointedly, the program-to-program numbers paint a more volatile picture. Night-to-night, women 18-49 dropped audience every night of the week. Men were more mixed, improving on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, but dropping on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.

To get a better view of what's going on, it helps to look at the programming numbers. TBS created astonishing growth among younger male audiences in the past year, primarily due to FAMILY GUY. This program is all over the Monday through Wednesday sitcom line-up with ten runs a week. Unfortunately, it is not holding up on core demo; household audience dropped just two percent vs. last year, but men 18-49 dropped by 14% and women 18-49 dropped by 19%. HOUSE OF PAYNE has been the primary reason for the network's growth among young women, and it is the other building block of the sitcom line-up. In repeats this September, the program dropped -31% of its household audience vs. last year, and more significantly, -39% of its women 18-49 audience.

On the brighter side, THE OFFICE is holding up nicely for the net. Household and women 18-49 audiences are up about ten percent. (Men 18-49 are down 14%). The program is actually the top rated among men and women 18-49 for September, although this is really a function of their being only eight telecasts, as opposed to the many runs of FAMILY GUY (39) and HOUSE OF PAYNE (18).

Although there were mixed results, movies' strong performance helped play a key role in keeping the bottom-line numbers even with last year. TBS favorites The Longest Yard and Shrek topped the charts. The network's mantra of the month seems to be reliable stand-bys.


TBS' September primetime audience made some slight gains vs. August, with increases of less than 10% across the board.

As with year-ago comparisons, it was really THE OFFICE and movies that helped hold up the bottom-line. While FAMILY GUY and HOUSE OF PAYNE continue to hold up the schedule and the younger audiences, they both showed signs of fading this month.

On Mondays, we have to ask, where did the women go? This month, Monday was actually the lowest rated night of the week for women 18-49. In August it was tied for the second best rated night. Quite a change in dynamics. For the night, households and men were relatively even, but women 18-49 audiences were 17% lower. Airing back to back from 10 to 11PM, MY NAME IS EARL dropped just seven percent of household and core men 18-49 audiences, but the show lost more than a quarter of its women 18-49 viewers. A quick look at the competitive environment reveals TBS' sister network TNT ran a female-friendly Monday night in September with the finale of THE CLOSER and the debut of RAISING THE BAR.

Tuesday was TBS' only sitcom night to show across the board improvement. This is due to the stellar performance of THE OFFICE, which enjoyed 25% growth among men 18-49 and 54% growth among women 18-49. THE OFFICE is actually the top rated program of September for both men and women 18-49. (FAMILY GUY leads among households).

Wednesdays took the worst across-the-board hits of the month, as repeats of HOUSE OF PAYNE didn't draw in the same size audiences as last month, particularly in the face of stiffer competition from both cable and broadcast nets.

The Olympics did not affect TBS' sitcom performance very much, but it did take a toll on the movies. They experienced some serious declines last month, but for the most part they bounced right back in September.

Thursday's female skewing FRIENDS and movies line-up dropped some men (-23%) and held onto women, with movie selections (Something's Gotta Give) yielding the most influence here.

On Fridays, SEINFELD showed nice growth vs. last month, with a 30% higher 18-49 audience. The movie line-up was very strong this night, with sure-fire hits Pretty Woman, The Longest Yard and Bourne Supremacy plus Failure to Launch, which is a new title for TBS.

As always, Saturday and Sunday were all movies all the time. With classic TBS titles (Cast Away, Pretty Woman, My Best Friend's Wedding) and three more runs of Failure to Launch, the weekend showed nice improvements, especially among women.


COMEDY FESTIVALS: TBS is strengthening its position as the new home for comedy festivals while HBO is turning away. TBS unveiled a new five-day Chicago summer festival, set to launch in 2009. TBS also said it will air the fourth annual Comedy Festival in Las Vegas in November. "We're ready to dive into the festival arena full force," said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. "These events are a perfect opportunity for TBS to showcase some of the best talents in the comedy industry and to expand the reach of our brand in exciting new ways. We will use the festivals as a mike to talk to comedy fans in a 360-degree way all year and offer cross-platform marketing opportunities," he said. (Hollywood Reporter)

MOVIES: TNT and sister network TBS are joining the crowds on signing up for theatrical prebuys, obtaining the cable-TV rights to four high-visibility movies set for release by New Line and Picturehouse later this year: The Women, Journey to the Center of the Earth, the Zac Efron vehicle 17 Again and the Vince Vaughn-Reese Witherspoon comedy 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, with Nicolas Cage, and In the Mix, starring Usher, which will become available this spring.

At the end of February, TBS and TNT completed a big movie purchase from WB. As is the recent trend, many of the titles were bought on a pre-buy basis. Among the titles likely to appear on TBS are Get Smart, with Steve Carell, and Jim Carrey's 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.


TYLER PERRY'S HOUSE OF PAYNE: 26 extra episodes ordered. (in addition to the original 100 episode order)

MY BOYS and BILL ENGVALL have been renewed for their 3rd seasons, and are due to be back on the air in first quarter 2009.


None announced.