TruTV Performance/Schedule Analysis - December 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of January 17, 2009)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Adults 18-49, Adults 25-54.

DECEMBER 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

SMOKING GUN PRESENTS, COPS, OPERATION REPO, WW VACATION VIDEOS, SPEEDERS FIGHT BACK

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Original series dominate TruTV's primetime schedule.  The only acquired program is COPS. Since most of their series provide a different take in the area of criminal law and justice, there are no thematic evenings distinct from one another, rather a relatively even distribution of original series.  A heavy reliance on FORENSIC FILES and a handful of other series dominates the schedule.   

As new series are introduced to the schedule, the network created a few generic slots across the week for repeats.  The additional exhibitions in short bursts of 2-4 weeks give their new titles a chance to gain recognition with the casual viewer.  When a series does break out, like MOST SHOCKING, they have moved it into a regular timeslot.

With the transition of the network to TruTv at the beginning of 2008, the crime and investigation focus has been replaced with a broader, non-fiction/reality mix of programs.  While the existing base of crime series continues, new programming explores topics as diverse as oil wildcatters, poolside waitresses in Las Vegas, and repo men.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

NOVEMBER to DECEMBER:

Wednesday - VACATION VIDEOS fills in at 10pm; MAUI CHOPPER debuts at 10:30pm

Friday - MOST SHOCKING repeats take over the 8pm slot

Saturday - weekly series are bumped for mini-marathons of inventory series

Sunday - COPS moves back into he 9pm slot, creating a two block from 8-10pm

PREMIERES:

** December 8th - MAUI CHOPPER

JANUARY AND BEYOND:

PREMIERES:

** None announced

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

A good month, in fact, a great month.  The network drew the largest audiences yet in the target male demos since the transition from Court TV 12 months ago.  After a prolonged slump, the rebound in November carries through to year end.  Men 18-49 and 25-54 were up 35% and 26% respectively over last year.  Women fell as did total audiences, pushing the median age down 10% vs last year and new low for the network. 

On the programming front, the conversion has been fairly straightforward.  Older skewing series such as FORENSIC FILES, DOMINICK DUNNE, and BODY OF EVIDENCE have virtually disappeared.  Newer product with a younger skew, OPERATION REPO and SMOKING GUN, along with the party programs have dominated.

DECEMBER 2008 RATINGS ANALYSIS: In terms of the male audience, every night is up from last year.  For a network going after men, that's a good thing.  Total audiences are down every night, although it appears to be the older viewers since median age is also dropping.  Let's take a look at a few of the highlights.

Monday night is the star for one reason:  OPERATION REPO.  The series has come into its own the last couple of months and is now the network's top rated property in both male demo breaks.  In December it occupied 14 of the top 20 telecasts for the month.  Ultimately, it drove Monday nights to a 50-70% increase in the male delivery over last year.

Tuesdays were up a solid 15% with men 18-49.  With PARTY HEAT and REHAB: PARTY AT HARD ROCK, you can find beaches, bikinis, and alchol combined.  Is it any surprise that television drama and a male audience would soon follow?

Wednesdays are also up a good 17% in the target demos thanks to the ever present MOST SHOCKING.  Unfortunately, the month's only new property on the schedule, MAUI CHOPPER, never really took off.  Only two episodes ran this month, did poorly, and put the series dead last in the rankings.  Beautiful scenery doesn't always translate.

Thursdays featured a few good runs of SPEEDERS and SMOKING GUN, supplemented by some excellent repeats of the same series on and near Christmas, driving the night up almost 40% over last year in the male demos.

Friday remains weak with runs of FORENSIC FILES and older series inventory.  Despite finishing below the network averages, it still managed to incease slightly over last year.  On the bright side, audiences were up significantly over November so maybe there's some trending in the right direction. 

Saturdays managed to pull the largest growth in percentage terms with men over last year.  Dumping the old stuff for mini-marathons of stronger series such as SMOKING GUN and MOST SHOCKING did the trick. 

Sundays finish just a tad below network average with mostly the stalwart COPS stacked across the night.  One week of OPERATION REPO did nicely as well.  Overall, the night showed modest improvement over last year, but is still an opportunity for new development.

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

None announced.

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

None announced.

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

DISORDER IN THE COURT, STRINGERS: LA, HAUNTING EVIDENCE, BEACH PATROL, SUBURBAN SECRETS

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