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Discovery Analysis


There were some new additions to the Discovery schedule in the month of December. Mondays remained gearhead night, with a lineup of AMERICAN CHOPPER and AMERICAN GUNS. Tuesdays were anchored by DIRTY JOBS followed by SWAMP LOGGERS. Wednesdays featured a lineup of SONS OF GUNS and newcomer MOONSHINERS. Thursdays and Saturdays picked up a little of everything. Fridays in December were Alaska night. Sundays capped the week with a mix of programming and specials, including CURIOSITY.


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

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Another month of solid and steady growth for Discovery, and it’s not all Alaska-related. Building on the growth from last month’s hits GOLD RUSH and FLYING WILD ALASKA, Discovery is up 24%, and up 23% from this time last year. New and returning series are also scoring big marks, giving Discovery an extremely successful and well-rounded way to close out 2011.

Still, it’s the Alaskan-driven Friday night lineup that is shining for Discovery. It’s the strongest night of the week (by far), and GOLD RUSH ALAKSA and FLYING WILD ALASKA scored above-average numbers in every telecast during December.

Wednesday nights come in as Discovery’s second strongest of the week. Up 48% from last month, and 30% from last year, much of this success in December has to do with newcomer series MOONSHINERS in the Wednesday at 10pm slot. Lead in SONS OF GUNS is also scoring well.

However, another new series, WEED WARS, struggled in its debut month in the Thursday at 10pm slot. Below-average numbers in all airings. Throughout December, programmers tried out a variety of lead-ins for the show, but the audience wasn’t there. Perhaps the show about marijuana was one step too far for Discovery? On a positive note, the night was up 35% from last month, and up 25% from a year ago.

Mondays are also up from a year ago (8%) and a special AMERICAN CHOPPER (“The Build Off”) brought in big numbers for the network on 12/5.

Weekends have been somewhat of a struggle for Discovery. Saturdays and Sundays were both down from last year, 21% and 3%, respectively. Reruns didn’t find their footing this month, but look for new tentpole series to hit the schedule in 2012, as well as a broad slate of new originals.