TruTV Performance/Schedule Analysis - July 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of August 20, 2008)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Adults 18-49, Adults 25-54.

JULY 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

MOST SHOCKING, MOST DARING, BLACK GOLD, SMOKING GUN PRESENTS, PARTY HEAT, OPERATION REPO

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, con artists, and tornado chasers.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

JUNE - JULY:

Monday - repeats of SMOKING GUN PRESENTS moves into the 10pm slot

Tuesday - repeats of BLACK GOLD take over at 10pm

Friday - repeats of CRISIS POINT replaces INSIDE at 8pm

Saturday - DOMINICK DUNNE shifts back one hour to 10pm, making way for back to back episodes of FORENSIC FILES

Sunday - new series CRISIS POINT debuts at 10pm

AUGUST AND BEYOND:

PREMIERES:

** August 13th - ONE FALSE MOVE
** August 20th - STRINGERS: LA
** August 21st - THE PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE
** September 8th - OCEAN FORCE: DEWEY BEACH
** October 6th - SKI PATROL
** October 16th - DRIVING ME MAD


YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

Given the absence of any network announcements, we'll presume July wasn't a record month for the channel.  Nevertheless, it comes across as a pretty solid start to the 3rd quarter, maintaining the recent shift towards men in increasing numbers.   Yes, once again, the men are up and the women are down.  This time the women are down more so the overall adult audiences are also down from last year (-8% in A18-49 and -11% in A25-54).  Still, the demo splits are hovering right around 55% male, almost 10 points greater than a year ago.  The transition strategy continues to be on course and successful.

JULY 2008 RATINGS ANALYSIS:

With the network down in total audiences year on year, this month boils down to reviewing the male/female demos.  As noted above, the men are up while the women are down.  That's pretty consistent when drilling down to the nightly level. 

Mondays held their own year on year, ending the month as the second highest rated night of the week in the key male demos.  A marathon block of OPERATION REPO, including two premiere episodes, was the highlight.

Tuesdays are down big from last year.  Kicking out DOMINICK DUNNE meant losing the female draw.  Replacing it with SMOKING GUN and BLACK GOLD repeats brought the male appeal with them, albeit not enough to offset the loss of women.  Net result is a much younger night, and better audience concentrations for sales.

Wednesday are proving to be one of more consistent performers of the week.  BLACK GOLD premieres lead the way, but MOST SHOCKING and MOST DARING have proven to be very compatible with the oil wildcatters in Texas.  The night probably reflects the network's new direction better than any other.

Thursday continues as the strongest night of the week.  SMOKING GUN PRESENTS had a full slate of premieres, driving the numbers well ahead of last year.  

Friday was one of only two nights to actually lose men.  Overall, the night is down in total audience and all demos versus last year.  Original series RICH & RECKLESS and repeats of the original CRISIS POINT haven't gained any traction.  Slight good news with the median age dropping, but that's more a result of losing the older skewing crime from last year.

Saturdays are still the low point on the schedule.  It's the oldest night of the week by far, and the only night that still leans female.  The men are MIA.  As long as the line-up remains older Court TV inventory, expect this trend to continue.

Sundays are down across the board.  COPS is tiring out.  Audiences are down as much as 20-30%, depending on the demo.  Original premieres of CRISIS POINT aren't faring much better.  Maybe with a better lead-in?  

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

None announced.

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

None announced.

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

HAUNTING EVIDENCE, BEACH PATROL, HOLLYWOOD HEAT, NORTH MISSION ROAD, SUBURBAN SECRETS

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