TLC Analysis - October 2010

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OCTOBER 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.

OCTOBER 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

F18-49

F25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-27%

-30%

-29%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-17%

-30%

-24%

Wednesday 8-11pm

5%

0%

12%

Thursday 8-11pm

1%

-27%

-13%

Friday 8-11pm

13%

16%

27%

Saturday 8-11pm

-5%

-15%

-15%

Sunday 8-11pm

21%

33%

38%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-1%

-8%

-2%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

TLC, the network that thrived on Kids and Cake has now turned to Polygamy (SISTER WIVES) to fuel its success.  SISTER WIVES was the driving force behind the large growth on Sunday nights in all key demos.  But even with that success, the network was down slightly in all key demos year-to-year.

Wednesdays were up due to LA INK and a encore of SISTER WIVES that helped deliver strong female 25-54 growth from last year.

Fridays also had pretty good numbers because of SAY YES TO THE DRESS: BIG BLISS and the return of WHAT NOT TO WEAR in the final week of the month.

Thursdays showed the largest year-to-year declines, due in large part to a demographic shift to male oriented programs like AMERICA CHOPPER and KICKOFF COOKOFF (which dropped 75% from the AMERICAN CHOPPER lead-in).

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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