DECEMBER 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:
* Bold denotes programming change
This most female of networks runs a structurally very predictable and stable schedule. Most nights if you like what's on at 8pm, you'll like the whole evening, for they stack as heavily as virtually any network out there. Often, the same series title will run for an entire evening. The range of programming is very wide, with original series related to weddings taking up a lot of real estate (MY FAIR WEDDING, BRIDEZILLAS, AMAZING WEDDING CAKES). Off-network newsmagazine reversions are a popular staple, and THE LOCATOR, an original production aimed at finding and re-uniting family members lost to one another, remains a fairly strong performer. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention GOLDEN GIRLS. This sitcom antique, with its famous blue-haired ensemble cast, often gets more telecasts than any other title, and it has for years. Sound crazy? Watch the network. It works.
DECEMBER 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / December 2009 vs. December 2008 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
WEtv's December saw slightly worrying monthly numbers, and very encouraging year-to-year comparisons. Women, the only viewers who WE appears to care about, were down in both age categories compared to November: F18-49 -8% and F25-54 -7%. But December 2009 compared to 2008 was very nice, indeed. Younger and older women were up 20% and 27%, respectively. Nice numbers to have handy if someone important gets itchy about the monthly comparisons. Last month, the monthlies were flat and yearly was up nearly as much as now.
MY FAIR WEDDING was a notable heavy-lifter in December. Even with 16 telecasts (second only to GOLDEN GIRLS in schedule slots for the month) it bested averages in HH , F18-49 and F25-54, by very comfortable margins. Four episodes cracked the top 12 telecasts for the month, including the #1 slot.
Since we mentioned it, GOLDEN GIRLS, the gift that keeps on giving at WEtv, showed up 50 times in primetime in December and performed at or slightly above average among HH's and women. It accounted for 13 of the top twenty telecasts.
The only other three titles in the December top twenty telecasts were reversioned off-network newsmagazines: Two 48 HOURS ON WE episodes and one 20/20 ON WE.
In case you weren't counting, that only one originally produced title (MY FAIR WEDDING, with 4 eps) in the month's top twenty. It was also the only originally produced series that performed above the network's HH and women's averages.
THE LOCATOR, with eight plays, was slightly off the pace, as was SECRET LIVES OF WOMEN (3 telecasts). A bit further down were PLATINUM WEDDINGS (2 telecasts), PLATINUM BABIES (2 telecasts), VERY BAD MEN (3 telecasts) and AMAZING WEDDING CAKES (5 telecasts).
CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:
Known in development circles for smart, approachable executives, WEtv strikes us as especially approachable at the moment. They have relatively few titles that are used heavily in a very predictable, user-friendly schedule. Strong performers at the moment include THE LOCATOR, BRIDEZILLAS and MY FAIR WEDDING. Don't even think about men when pondering what to pitch these folks. They view in such small numbers that they're often barely measurable. Women in peril and wedding-related programming are staples here. Watching this network is especially important in understanding it because there's a mix of old off-network acquisitions with original productions. Ancient GOLDEN GIRLS sitcom episodes and reversions of old 20/20 and 48 HOURS segments coexist with some very smart original productions. It's impossible to understand how this works without watching. And, following the netowork here, each month. Come in with a new, affordable twist, and these folks will listen.