JANUARY 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:
* Bold denotes programming change
VH1 continues to have success with home-grown series, often built around Reality "stars" from earlier series (e.g. NEW YORK GOES TO WORK featuring a former FLAVOR 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 their original series. Episodes of new series tend to receive multiple Prime plays during the week each epsidoe premieres.
Music-oriented fare continues to make its presence felt on VH1, with survey-oriented specials (100 GREATEST...) joining occasional new epsiodes of the venerable BEHIND THE MUSIC series, along with concert specials and documentaries.
JANUARY 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / January 2010 vs. January 2009 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
January 2010 continued the year-to-year losses suffered by November and December's delivery. In January, six nights experienced double-digit demo losses from the same month last year, although HH delivery was essentially flat on three of those nights. Compared to December, though, VH1 was up, especially TH - SU.
Only three Prime timeslots enjoyed uninterrupted series scheduling - Monday's 9p FOR THE LOVE OF RAY JAY 2, along with the SU/ 8p & 9p runs of FRANK THE ENTERTAINER and TOUGH LOVE 2. The final episodes of RAY JAY 2 at 9p on Mondays led into the premieres of FANTASIA FOR REAL at 10p, followed by LET'S TALK ABOUT PEP at 1030p. These premiere airings were the two highest rated offerings of the month, withthe first episode of FANTASIA tripling the Prime HH average for January and PEP's not far behind. By their third week, however, HH and demo ratings had declined by approximately 1/3 for each new series. Nonetheless, FANTASIA and PEP ranked as the top two series for VH1 this month.
Tuesdays now start with a repeat of the previous night's FANTASIA/PEP block, leading into repeats of TOUGH LOVE 2 and FRANK THE ENTERTAINER from the previous Sunday. The night as a whole was down modestly from last year and last month.
The premiere of CELEBRETY REHAB 3 joined the movies, series blocks and specials that fill Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. With a new episode Thursdays at 10p benefiting from a repeat of the previous week's premiere leading in at 9p, CELEB REHAB 3 virtually tied LET'S TALK ABOUT PEP for #2 in RP18-49. Despite a number of underperforming movies and specials at 8p, Thursday's year-to-year demo loss was the least of any night. Compared to December, the night grew nealry 80% in the demo.
Movie-centric Saturday suffered from a slate of underperforming titles, with none approaching the month's average demo delivery. The night's HH delivery grew 19% from December, however, in addition to the slight gain over last year.
Premiere series FRANK THE ENTERTAINER combined with the final episodes of TOUGH LOVE 2 to dominate Sunday night. The interesting choice to rerun the 8p FRANK episode at 10p, while exposing the series to 9p TOUGH LOVE viewers, possibly cost the night ratings momentum in its final hour. While Sunday suffered the wrorst annual losses of the month, growth over December 2009 was in the modest double-digit range across the board.
CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:
VH1 has 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.
VH1's Celebreality hits have received a lot of attention and ratings success. 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 a fairly big successes for the network and they're looking for the next version of those series.