TNT Analysis - September 2011



* Bold denotes programming change


Sunday through Wednesday is TNT's primary focus, where the network has attempted to run original series throughout the year. BONES and (usually) LAW & ORDER have become a big part of the schedule, trying to hold up the Monday through Wednesday originals.  NBA runs on Thursdays, when it's the season, otherwise it's an off-net crime drama and/or a movie. Theatricals dominate Friday and Saturday, plus Sundays when originals are not running.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / September 2011 vs September 2010  (% Change)




Monday 8-11pm




Tuesday 8-11pm

 - 17%



Wednesday 8-11pm




Thursday 8-11pm




Friday 8-11pm




Saturday 8-11pm




Sunday 8-11pm




MTWTFSS 8-11pm




Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

SEPTEMBER 2011: TNT’s core primetime ratings are down by 20% vs. last year, with double digit declines hitting every night except Thursdays, which are down by just 4%. Overall, a discouraging month and a disappointing summer for TNT, but the network was not without success.

THE CLOSER and RIZZOLI & ISLES finished up their seasons on Monday, September 12, and while they might attract older audiences, they do attract a lot of them – the two programs are the number one and number two most-watched basic cable summer dramas, based on total viewers. Other programs and nets take the demo ratings crowns.

THE MENTALIST has moved in to Wednesday night, airing at 8PM and 9PM, helping to lighten the load of TNT’s other off-net procedurals BONES and LAW & ORDER. THE MENTALIST was strong on women 25-54, with ratings topping the lead-out 10PM movie and the primetime average rating for the first three weeks, until the last week of the month when the broadcast nets came out with their new seasons.

Thursdays were mostly about BONES, which lost 32% of its core women 25-54 audience vs. last year and 18% vs. last month. On the 15th TNT hosted a 15-episode marathon of CASTLE, the ABC crime series which TNT acquired exclusive off-network cable rights to. The show makes its regular appearance on TNT in the summer of 2012, but this marathon was designed to help promote the season four premiere. The primetime ratings for the marathon were not as strong as THE MENTALIST, or BONES’ Thursday night performance. But they did top LAW & ORDER for the month.

Movies did not contribute to the cause this month. Even Lord of the Rings failed to find an above average audience. The BIG PICTURE MOVIE average among adults 25-54 was even with last month, but down 25% vs. last year. The best draws this month were Gran Torino, 2 Fast @ Furious and Shawshank Redemption.

With the summer of 2011 over, TNT is ready to move on. MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE, HAWTHORNE and MEMPHIS BEAT have all been cancelled and THE CLOSER is heading into its final season. The production department is going full steam ahead, with a next generation of DALLAS, a next generation of THE CLOSER (MAJOR CRIMES) and a couple of star-studded dramas, PERCEPTION and SCENT OF THE MISSING.