TLC Performance/Schedule Analysis - June 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of August 2, 2009)


CURRENT AND SIGNATURE PROGRAMS:

AMERICAN CHOPPER (REALITY)
Originally produced for Discovery Channel, it shifted to TLC in 2006.  Father and sons bicker and build custom bikes.
Status: Currently airing.  Produced by Pilgrim Films & Television.

CAKE BOSS (REALITY)
Buddy Valastro and his family owned bakery in Hoboken, NJ tackle a wide variety of cake requests and emergencies.
Premiered in May, 2009.  Produced by High Noon Entertainment.

DR. G: MEDICAL EXAMINER (MEDICAL)
Off-Discovery Health, Dr. Jan Gararaglia, a leading forensic pathologist, uses cutting edge techniques to explain unexpected deaths.
Status: Season 4 completed in April, 2009.  Produced by Atlas Media.

JON & KATE + 8 (REALITY)
A borrow from Discovery Health.  Day to day challenges and the heartwarming rewards for a Pennsylvania family with sextuplets and twins.  Main characters have become nationally recognized celebrities in the entertainment and tabloid media.
Status: Season 5 currently on hiatus.  Produced by Figure 8 Films.

LA INK (REALITY)
Stories from behind the needle this month, just at the original series'(Tm) home, Los Angeles.
Status: Season 3 premiering July, 2009.  Produced by Original Media.

LITTLE PEOPLE, BIG WORLD (REALITY)
You know the deal a family of short and "normal-sized" people, livin'(Tm) life.
Status: Season 6 premieres in Fall, 2010.  Produced by Gay Rosenthal Productions

MOVING UP (PROPERTY)
Doug Wilson follows new homeowners as they move into one another's homes, design and renovate, and likely exchange some words.
Status: Season 3 premieres July 21, 2009.  Produced by BBC Worldwide Productions.

MY FIRST HOME (PROPERTY)
Viewers follow first-time home buyers as they journey from scouting to selection and settlement with drama, laughter and tears in between.
Status: Season 4 to premiere in the Fall.  Produced by Authentic Entertainment

SAY YES TO THE DRESS (LIFESTYLE)
Show follows the staff and inner workings of the world's premiere bridal salon in Brooklyn. The selection of the dress, the family dynamics the works.

TEN YEARS YOUNGER (LIFESTYLE)
Fresh out of daytime, this one takes a person, puts them in a glass cage and has people guess their age inevitably older than the person really is.  Then, experts do a clean-up and makeover to bring that number down.
Status: Season 4 completed airing in March, 2009.  Produced by Evolution Media.

WHAT NOT TO WEAR (LIFESTYLE)
Style makeovers, head-to-toe, wardrobe, skin, hair, makeup...personalized by a couple of experts.
Status: Season 7 premiered in May,2009.  Produced by BBC Worldwide Productions.


JUNE 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE


TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

JON & KATE PLUS 8, CAKE BOSS, 18 KIDS AND COUNTING, LITTLE COUPLE

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

For nearly a year, TLC has endeavored to grab a schedule that had taken a decidedly feminine, almost 1990s daytime turn, and push it back toward a primetime sensibility that, while skewing female, tried to find men, too. It appears to be working.

But stay tuned. They have relied very, very heavily on Jon & Kate Plus Eight - with many original episodes, tons of repeats and occasional specials. This franchise, which occupies enormous tracts of schedule real estate and has seriously juiced the network's ratings, faces an uncertain future.

Whether Jon & Kate remains a major force, the schedule has showed some titles holding their own. 18 KIDS AND COUNTING, LITTLE COUPLE, CAKE BOSS and MY FIRST HOME will be shows to watch. Whether baking a cake, examining a disease or looking at where we live, weaving family narratives into programs seems to be one of the factors in helping a show pop at TLC. Ratings growth at TLC has been strongest Monday and Tuesday, and then generally declines as the week goes on.


UPCOMING PREMIERES:

** July 9 - L.A. INK (Season 3)
** July 22 - TODDLERS & TIARAS (Season 2)

** August 3 - ULTIMATE CAKE OFF (New 8-parter)
** August 6 - POLICE WOMEN OF BROWARD COUNTY (New 10-parter)

MAY 2009 PRIMETIME RATING ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison:   

June 2009 vs. June 2008 (% change)        
HH        A18-49     A25-54   
Monday 8-11pm             115%        124%      127%   
Tuesday 8-11pm              87%        155%       100% 
Wednesday 8-11pm           0%         -12%           0%   
Thursday 8-11pm              21%         11%         15%   
Friday 8-11pm                  31%            7%        16%   
Saturday 8-11pm              49%            4%         12%   
Sunday 8-11pm                43%        22%          30%   
MTWTFSS 8-11pm            54%     50%         48%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Goodness, what a month at TLC! Assuming that no one reading this will have been beyond JON & KATE'S reach into popular culture, we'll skip the content melodrama, and look at its impact. In a word: Huge.  Overall, the network was up HH 32% compared to May, with strong numbers across all demographics. Women grew more, but even the worst growth, older men, clocked in at HH 22%. Year-to-year, TLC was up a whopping HH 54%.

TLC gave JON & KATE heavier and more prominent play on the two nights where it was already most prevalent. Monday, it moved from two half-hours at 10pm in May to a two-hour stack at 8pm. On Tuesday it opened primetime again, this time for an hour. Compared to May, Monday HH's were up 75% and the spread among age and gender groups was incredibly narrow -- between 73% and 78%. Tuesdays were up month-to-month by HH 44%.

The numbers for the series itself: Month-to-month, the show was up HH 129% (most interesting: the only group to break the double-century ceiling was younger men, who grew 200%). Younger women grew the least: HH 163%.  Year-to-year it was up HH 89%. Phew!

Worth noting: 18 KIDS AND COUNTING and LITTLE COUPLE, on Tuesdays, held their own in the JON & KATE storm. Watch these programs in the months ahead. If they remain strong, they could dampen the effects of whatever happens with JON & KATE.

Wednesdays -- in June a Jon & Kate-free zone -- were up HH 37%, on the strength of medical oddities at 8pm and 9pm (various and MYSTERY DIAGNOSIS, respectively), followed by MY FIRST HOME.

Thursdays changed slightly. Two hours of AMERICAN CHOPPER, as before, were followed by various at 10pm, rather than HELI LOGGERS, which got a rest. The two weeks that continued at 10pm with gearhead themes did less well than the two in which more human interest/entertainment programs were used.  Men were nearly flat while younger and older women were up 35% and 29%, respectively.

Friday night's schedule remained unchanged with two WHAT NOT TO WEARS followed by SAY YES TO THE DRESS, and it grew over the previous month by HH 25%.

Saturday's all-prime 48 Hours stack was nearly flat compared to May and Sunday's unpredictable mix was down HH 11% compared to last month's unpredictable mix. 

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

The World's Oldest Conjoined Twins (1x60"),  follows 57-yeard-old twins Ronnie and Donnie Gaylon.
From RDF Rights.

The World's Strongest Toddler (1x60"). Centers on three-year-old Liam Hoekstra, who has a genetic condition that increases his muscle strength.
From RDF Rights.

Britain's Tiniest Toddlers, a one-hour documentary on the lives of four primordial dwarves.
From RDF Rights.

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

CAKE BOSS (Fall, 2009)

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced

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