TruTV Performance/Schedule Analysis - July 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of August 24, 2009)

CURRENT AND SIGNATURE PROGRAMS:

BLACK GOLD (NON-FICTION)
Wildcatters, Texas oil prospectors searching for riches.  Follows several of them and their crews of roughnecks as they risk hundreds of thousands of dollars and their lives setting up rigs in an attempt to strike oil.
Status: Season 2 premiered in August.  Produced by Original Productions

COPS (REALITY)
A completely unfiltered look at law enforcement on the streets, COPS changed television by taking cameras into real-life police situations. Each episode travels to a different US city.
Status: Currently airing.  Off-net acquisition.

DOMINICK DUNNE'S POWER, PRIVILEGE AND JUSTICE (NON-FICTION)
The famed Vanity Fair contributor and foremost expert of society's elite, Dominick Dunne shares his unique access to true stories of prominent and powerful people who fall from grace and are brought to justice. (Full Disclosure: CABLEready, sister company of CableU, distributes DOMINICK DUNNE internationally.)
Status: Currently airing.

FORENSIC FILES (NON-FICTION)
Each episode profiles one criminal case and follows forensic experts as they piece together the crime puzzle with every piece of evidence available. (Full Disclosure: CABLEready, sister company of CableU, developed and sold FORENSIC FILES to Court TV/truTV -- and distributes the show interntationally.)
Status: Currently airing.

MOST SHOCKING (REALITY)
Showcases crimes caught on tape; themes include Most Shocking Police Shootouts, Most Shocking Dangerous Drivers and more.
Status: Currently airing.

PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE (NON-FICTION)
Follows school administrators across several schools as they deal with unruly students.
Status: Season 2 currently airing.  Produced by Leftfield Pictures.

PSYCHIC DETECTIVES (NON-FICTION)
Follow real psychics who are employed by the police to help solve crimes; told from the perspective of law enforcement officials.
Status: On hiatus.

SMOKING GUN PRESENTS (NON-FICTION)
Teaming up with the infamous website, experts and entertainers offer commentary as they countdown the dumbest criminals caught on tape.
Status: Currently airing.

SPEEDERS (NON-FICTION)
Following officers coast to coast, get a first-hand look as cops pull over surprised motorists that challenge the speedometer.
Status: Currently airing.

JULY 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

INSIDE, OPERATION REPO, COPS, PARTY HEAT, SMOKING GUN PRESENTS, WW VACATION VIDEOS

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.


UPCOMING PREMIERES:

** August 19 - BLACK GOLD (Season 2)
** September 1 - REHAB: PARTY AT THE HARD ROCK (Season 2)

JULY 2009 RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison: 
July 2009 vs. July 2008  (% Change)

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

14%

26%

14%

Tuesday 8-11pm

38%

43%

43%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-22%

-23%

-21%

Thursday 8-11pm

-4%

-2%

-8%

Friday 8-11pm

7%

9%

7%

Saturday 8-11pm

-27%

24%

-8%

Sunday 8-11pm

6%

9%

5%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

0%

9%

3%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Steady growth for the network in July.  Year on year numbers are up 11% and 5% for target men 18-49 and 25-54 respectively.  Same as last year, the month to month numbers were flat compared to June.  Unlike most cable nets, TruTV chose not to push any new series debuts in midsummer.  Only a handful of ongoing series featured premiere episodes.  Holding serve with June and still improving on last year?  Not bad. 

Last year, August was the start of a three month decline for the network.  New episodes of BLACK GOLD are the only thing announced thus far.  Should be enough to stay ahead of last year.

OPERATION REPO remains in the lead, but it's slowing down a bit.  Monday premieres are rolling along, with the repeats staying solid.  The series remains #1 for target men 18-49, but has fallen back to a tie with INSIDE in the men 25-54 demographic.  Men are down down single digits from June.  Something to keep an eye on.

INSIDE AMERICAN JAIL featured just one premiere on Sunday night, but showed some nice growth from last month.  Younger men were up 4%.  M25-54 were up 21%, putting the series into a virtual tie with OPERATION REPO in the demo for top spot. 

Tuesday nights were up an astounding 40% plus versus last in all of the key demos.  Appears that Tuesdays last year weren't so hot, hence the massive jump this month.  OPERATION REPO repeats drove the night, although just enough to put it on par with the network averages.

On the other side of the fence, Wednesdays were down considerably.  Hard to figure this one out.  The programming has been fairly steady for a long time, mostly a mix of MOST DARING and MOST SHOCKING.  No schedule hiatus, no preemptions for stunts.  And yet, both series are down 20% or more in both male demos.  If they bounce back next month, we'll chalk this one up to a bump in the road.  If the numbers stay down, there's some serious work to be done.

In other series news, COPS male audience was up more than 20% from last year.  SMOKING GUN, DOMINICK DUNNE, and FORENSIC FILES were all down from last year.  The latter two finished at the bottom for target men this month.

And finally, bringing up the rear once again this month was MAN V CARTOON.  The science based reality series wrapped up it's first, and probably last, season in midmonth. 


PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

None announced.

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

REHAB: PARTY AT THE HARD ROCK (9/09)

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

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