TruTV Performance/Schedule Analysis - November 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of December 27, 2008)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Adults 18-49, Adults 25-54.

NOVEMBER 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

SMOKING GUN PRESENTS, COPS, OPERATION REPO, INSIDE, PARTY HEAT, CARIBBEAN COPS, REHAB: PARTY AT HARD ROCK

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:

SEPTEMBER to OCTOBER:

Monday - SMOKING GUN moves up to 8pm, clearing room for a two hour block of OPERATION REPO from 9-11pm

Tuesday - DISORDER IN THE COURT/PARTY HEAT occupy the 8pm slot, with a two hour block of debut series REHAB: PARTY AT HARD ROCK rounding out the night

Wednesday - MOST SHOCKING drops out at 10pm for a mix of inventory repeats

Saturday - FORENSIC FILES enters at 9pm creating a two hour stack to start the night; BODY OF EVIDENCE returns to familiar ground at 10pm

Sunday - COPS and MOST SHOCKING are gone from 9-11pm, replaced by a two hour block of inventory repeats

PREMIERES:

** November 11th - REHAB: PARTY AT HARD ROCK

DECEMBER AND BEYOND:

PREMIERES:

** December 8th - MAUI CHOPPER

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

A very good month for the network and it needed it.  After six months of trending down, the audiences bounced back resoundlingly, delivering the best numbers since April.  In fact, the network press trumpets it as their highest rated November ever for Adults and Men 18-34, as well as 18-49.  Total viewers and women fell 10-20%, but not a problem.  It's a return to the network's stated goals at the beginning of the year to become younger and more male.  Median age was down 10%, landing around 48 years, the lowest it's been since the conversion to Tru TV.

NOVEMBER 2008 RATINGS ANALYSIS: Year ago comparisons on a night by night basis don't lend a ton of insight.  With the exception of Fridays, every night is up in the key male demos.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays are up by single digits, while Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays are up 15-60% for men.  Fridays drop comes from continued use of FORENSIC FILES, a throwback to the Court TV brand, older and female. 

Month to month growth is even stronger than the annual growth.  All seven nights of the week show improvement over October in men 18-49 (31%) and 25-54 (33%).  Total viewers and women also increased across all nights, with one small exception on Wednesdays, and the median age fell 3%. 

Only one new series, REHAB: PARTY AT HARD ROCK, debuted in November.  A few premieres from carryover debut series like SKI PATROL were scattered around.  None of the new stuff did anything groundbreaking to speak of.  So where do these big jumps come from?  Continuing series and repeats.  Pretty much every regular series experienced big rises from October:  MOST SHOCKING, COPS, MOST DARING, OPERATION REPO, SPEEDERS, SMOKING GUN, and more.  OPERATION REPO stood well above the rest in terms of M18-49 and 25-54, with the others settling within shouting range of the network averages. 

How to explain the big jump coming from regular series and repeats?  We're not really sure.  A major brand marketing campaign wasn't in the mix.  No major specials to piggyback and build from, no halo effect from stunt programming.  It's possible with the much watched Presidential election coverage ending on Nov 4th, viewers went looking for something to fill the void.  Most of the 30 cable nets on CU's watch are up from October so it makes for the best explanation we can find. 

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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