DECEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:
* Bold denotes programming change
TLC, which does occasional topical specials like the recent EXTREME COUPONING and WILLIAM & KATE: A ROYAL LOVE STORY. The schedule tends toward stacking by theme or editorial sensibility, rather than by title alone. They do not strip. Weekends carry mostly one-off hours, off-network newsmagazine reversions and, most recently a few specials.
DECEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / December 2010 vs. December 2009 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
Talk about a quick fall from the top-SARAH PALIN'S ALASKA went from the highest rated Series last month on TLC to the 10th highest rated. That syncs up with TLC's decision not to renew the series.
With recent promotions and changes at the top of the network, a new GM will be joining TLC and report to the recently elevated, former TLC GM. Only half of TLC's primetime lineup has predictable series slots, the rest are filled with Mini-series and one-offs which must be hard to promote and sustain any ratings momentum.
Thursday's line-up change back from the male-dominated programs (like AMERICAN CHOPPER that was moved back to Discovery) has helped boost the female demos dramatically. POLICE WOMEN OF DALLAS and CELLBLOCK 6: FEMALE LOCKDOWN helped drive up the female viewers.
Saturday nights had the second largest year-on-year growth, the lineup featured three-hour stacks of SARAH PALIN, CAKE BOSS: NEXT GREAT BAKER and 48 HOURS: HARD EVIDENCE.
Wednesdays collection of Medical Anomalies posted double-digit losses from last year in both key female demos. Overall TLC was down slighty in the female 18-49 demo but increased modestly in the women 25-54 demo.
CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:
If this network has had a very, very wild ride in the last 12 months, it's only stronger for it. They rode the JON & KATE PLUS 8 bucking bronco for all it was worth - and as measured by ratings alone, it was worth a lot. While the schedule was an unpredictable mess for a while (it sometimes felt like Jon & Kate & Whatever Else We Have Lying Around), it turns out some solid series were developing or coming into themselves at the same time. 18 KIDS AND COUNTING, LITTLE PEOPLE, BIG WORLD and CAKE BOSS. Character-driven family and ensemble casts are in favor here. You'll notice many series are structured to work without a narrator, but this does not suggest lazy production. Good episodes of any of TLC's successful series are driven by very solid, logical, emotional storytelling. Executives at this network will know what they want, and have a well above average ability to articulate this. Seek them out. Trust what they say. Watch their air carefully. Better still, follow them closely, right here!