TLC Analysis - November 2010

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NOVEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

* Bold denotes programming change

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

TLC, which does occasional topical specials like the recent  MICHAEL JACKSON'S KIDS and an updated TIGER WOODS Special.  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.  LA INK was moved to Wednesday nights for it's newest season. Weekends carry mostly one-off hours, off-network newsmagazine reversions and, most recently a few specials.

NOVEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

F18-49

F25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-51%

-59%

-58%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-16%

-19%

-15%

Wednesday 8-11pm

9%

-4%

5%

Thursday 8-11pm

33%

96%

88%

Friday 8-11pm

9%

-5%

24%

Saturday 8-11pm

25%

-10%

11%

Sunday 8-11pm

43%

32%

33%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

0%

-12%

-4%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

TLC shifted from Polygamy to Politics this month with the premiere of SARAH PALIN'S ALASKA.  Large ratings for the premiere and strong follow-ups in the following two weeks helped propel this new series to the top of TLC's ratings this month (although the network was down from last year in the key female demos).  A look inside the numbers also reflect large 55+ viewership numbers for SARAH PALIN, not exactly TLC's primary demo.

TLC's schedule has shown a lot of fluctuation the last few months, shifting series like POLICE WOMEN from Thursday to Wednesday back to Thursday.  Is this a strategy or just a lack of commitment?  It worked this month because Thursday had the largest year-to-year growth in the Female demos.

Mondays continue to suffer large declines from last year (a continuing trend).  CAKE BOSS has lost some of its luster, even with the strong LITTLE PEOPLE, BIG WORLD lead-in, Buddy had trouble holding onto their lead-in.

Overall this is another down month for TLC , the network is still looking for another long running hit to replace Jon & Kate.

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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