WE TV Analysis - July 2011 - Multichannel

WE TV Analysis - July 2011

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JULY 2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

* Bold denotes programming change

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

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.

JULY 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

F25-54

P25-54

Monday 8-11pm

0%

-25%

0%

Tuesday 8-11pm

0%

-33%

0%

Wednesday 8-11pm

0%

-25%

-33%

Thursday 8-11pm

-33%

-25%

-33%

Friday 8-11pm

50%

-25%

0%

Saturday 8-11pm

-25%

-33%

-25%

Sunday 8-11pm

-33%

-33%

-33%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-25%

-40%

-33%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

WEtv suffered through a very slow July, unloading 40% of its female audience compared to last year.  Unfortunately for the network, newer programming such as BRAXTON FAMILY VALUES, CUPCAKE GIRLS, and STATEN ISLAND CAKES were all struggling at the bottom of the list.

While GOLDEN GIRLS was WEtv's top show of the month, it could easily have come in dead last on a healthier network.  Monday nights - which were completely comprised of marathon GIRLS -- were way down in terms of both monthly and yearly ratings.  Women aged 25-54 were down a full 40% since last month and down 25% from last year.

BRIDEZILLAS floundered just beneath GOLDEN GIRL'S seat atop the ratings heap. While ratings were poor, the show did have the small comfort of claiming the top three telecasts for the month.  In fact, virtually every slot on the top telecast list was either an episode of BRIDEZILLAS or GOLDEN GIRLS.  Interest in the show helped boost primetime Sunday's above the rest of the week but was unable to hoist ratings into positive territory.

The top broadcast of the month wasn't a WEtv show but rather a double airing of TITANIC.  In addition to TITANIC, other films - such as UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN and SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT - also performed better than the majority of WEtv's original and acquired shows.

Disconcertingly, reruns of FRASIER performed better than originals BRAXTON FAMILY VALUES, CUPCAKE GIRLS, and the brand new STATEN ISLAND CAKES.   CAKES was an especially sore spot for the network considering the show was the lowest rated among WEtv's programming despite recently premiering.

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. 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 network here each month. Come in with a new, affordable twist, and these folks will listen.

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