Vh1 Analysis - August 2011

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AUGUST 2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

* Bold denotes programming change

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

VH1 continues to concentrate on home-grown series, often built around Reality "stars" from earlier series (e.g. DAISY OF LOVE featuring a former ROCK OF LOVE contestant.) VH1's Primetime lineup is very fluid in nature, leading to a lot of "Various" programs on their schedule grid.

VH1 will occasionally stack night of programming and air episodes of the same show back-to-back-to-back.  This can prove extremely successful for them, especially when they use these mini-marathons to premiere the latest episodes of a successful original series. Episodes of new series tend to receive multiple Prime plays during the week each episode premieres.

Music-oriented fare continues to make its presence felt on VH1, with survey-oriented specials (100 GREATEST...) joining occasional new episodes of the venerable BEHIND THE MUSIC series, along with concert specials and documentaries. Urban-appeal theatrical films, many with strong musical components, are also delivering above-average ratings to the Network.

AUGUST 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

P18-49

Monday 8-11pm

230%

258%

Tuesday 8-11pm

0

-5%

Wednesday 8-11pm

14%

13%

Thursday 8-11pm

0%

-17%

Friday 8-11pm

31%

36%

Saturday 8-11pm

14%

25%

Sunday 8-11pm

0%

-13%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

44%

47%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

VH1's turnaround from a string of year-to-year losses continued for a third straight month in August, as season finales of SINGLE LADIES and BASKETBALL WIVES 3 led the way to near 50% growth in HH and A18-49.  LA LA'S FULL COURT LIFE and the new season of THE T.O. SHOW debuted at 46%  and 38% above the Prime average for RA18-49.

HH and demo delivery was essentially flat with July. The only potential negative was the aging of the network - Median Age was up 9% over August 2010.

Monday's premiere episodes of BASKETBALL WIVES 3 and SINGLE LADIES, including the season finales and an a two-part reunion show (BASKETBALL WIVES 3,) more than tripled last year's HH and demo delivery, earning the strongest annual and monthly increases of any day in August.  Each new episode of BASKETBALL WIVES 3 debuted in the 8pm hour and then repeated in the 10pm hour, finishing as the #1 series again this month. LA LA'S FULL COURT LIFE and  THE T.O. SHOW 3 premiered between the two runs of the  Part 2 of the BASKETBALL WIVES 3 reunion show, generating significant sampling.

Tuesday night as a whole  flat with July and last year. The night was composed mostly of repeats of episodes which ran over the previous two days.

Movies and series repeats combined to give Wednesday an overall delivery that was up modestly from last year and down modestly from last month. Repeats of BASKETBALL WIVES  were the top draw for this night.

Blocks of repeats, movies and specials led Thursday to the steepest year-to-year demo drop of the month. Only the movie BILLY MADISON  came close to equaling VH1's much improved Prime average.

Weekends were Movie-heavy on Friday and Saturday with titles like TITANIC and BACK TO THE FUTURE II leading to strong annual growth.

New episodes of tiring CELEBRITY REHAB 5 anchor Sunday at 9pm,and has dropped nearly half of its HH and demos from the previous season. CELEBRITY REHAB 4 was VH1's number one series in December, but the new season has declined to fifth this month.

CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:

VH1 had been extremely successful in the creation of an entirely new genre of programming.  Coining the phrase Celebreality, Vh1 has created several hit shows revolving around celebrities, past and present, and their "real" lives.

So now, the task at hand is to determine how they can expand beyond what's expected – and reach out to an even broader audience.  It's great to have programs that are celebrity-based, but anything that has amazing characters, tells a good story, and does it in a compelling way, is going to interest the net. Recently, VH1 has expanded into the original M.O.W. realm, with their first original feature being produced by Queen Latifah's production company, Favor Unit. Flavor Unit is also producing VH1's first scripted drama, based on the same characters as the M.O.W.

Important:

VH1's Celebreality hits have received a lot of attention and ratings success in the past. The network, however, continues to expand upon their brand to bring unique documentaries and interesting pop culture and music-related series to air.

VH1 has said that they are actively looking for documentaries in their ROCK DOC block.  They are looking for "intimate stories," "iconic characters" (namely 60s and 70s icons), and intelligent documentaries that aren't afraid to take chances.  Think "big stories" told through a "small narrative," too.

In addition, they're looking to expand beyond just Celebreality.  TOOL ACADEMY and THE PICK-UP ARTIST were fairly big successes for the network and they're looking for the next version of those series.

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