TLC Analysis - June 2010

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JUNE 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

* Bold denotes programming change

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

TLC, which has seldom done topical specials got fantastic numbers with two recently - one about the amazing, all-souls-saved Hudson River crash landing and the other about Tiger Woods' scandalous private life in the wake of his Thanksgiving auto accident. It's hard to imagine that on the heels of these successes execs at TLC aren't talking about getting more into the pipeline.  The schedule tends toward stacking by theme or editorial sensibility, rather than by title alone. They do not strip. Only one night is reliably themed: Turbo Thursdays are very male - AMERICAN CHOPPER and BBQ PITMASTERS dominate there, at the moment.  Weekends carry mostly one-off hours, off-network newsmagazine reversions and, most recently a few specials.

JUNE 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / June 2010 vs.June 2009 (% Change)

HH

F18-49

F25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-53%

-61%

-59%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-31%

-42%

-39%

Wednesday 8-11pm

25%

53%

54%

Thursday 8-11pm

10%

61%

61%

Friday 8-11pm

-11%

14%

-5%

Saturday 8-11pm

-16%

-9%

-13%

Sunday 8-11pm

36%

42%

40%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-16%

-17%

-16%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Kate Gosselin is back.  The problem is she and the kids will only be appearing in occasional specials, not a regular weekly schedule slot.  Even with Kate and the Kids,along with many returning and new series highlighting a TLC SUMMER, four nights were down year-to-year, some of them significantly.

Monday showed the steepest declines in spite of CAKE BOSS's return.  A variety of food related programs rotated through the 10pm slot, each of them dropping an average of 40% from Buddy's lead-in.

Tuesdays suffered without the Duggar family.  The second season of ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY was well below the average for Tuesday nights.  LITTLE COUPLE was able to post strong numbers in spite of poor lead-ins, but not enough to lift the night against last year.

Thursday's combo of POLICE WOMEN OF MEMPHIS and MALL COPS: MALL OF AMERICA have been working well, delivering the strongest growth night for TLC.

Sunday's growth can be attributed to the KATE PLUS 8 specials with two hours that more than doubled the average for the rest of the Sunday night programming.

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. An executive with highly respected scheduling skills and development instincts joined upper management here recently. 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!

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