Skip to main content

Discovery Analysis


Some new additions to the Discovery schedule in the month of January. Mondays saw a little of everything, with newcomer MOONSHINERS anchoring the evening. Tuesdays are anchored by DIRTY JOBS, with the addition of RAGIN CAJUN this month.  Wednesdays featured a lineup of SONS OF GUNS and more RAGIN CAJUN.  Thursdays feature high-stakes survival programming with DUAL SURVIVAL, MAN WOMAN WILD, ALASKA: THE LAST FRONTIER, and FIRST WEEK IN.  Fridays in January remained Alaska night.  Saturdays and Sundays cap the week with a mix of programming and specials, including GOLD RUSH.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / January 2012 vs. January 2011 (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Some new additions to the Discovery schedule provided an interesting start to 2012 for the cable network.  Overall numbers were down 3% from last year, but drops from December were a little higher.  Monday and Tuesday nights in January took the biggest hit, while Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, with a lineup of high-adrenaline programming saw a nice jump compared to year-ago and month-ago numbers.

Continuing to dominate the ratings for Discovery are its Alaska shows - with a mix of high stakes and great characters, these shows are the bread-and-butter of the Discovery lineup.  BERING SEA GOLD, FLYING WILD ALAKSA, GOLD RUSH, and ALASKA: THE LAST FRONTIER, took top programming slots for the month.  Friday nights in January were the strongest by far, and it's clear that Alaska resonates extremely well with the Discovery audience.

Right behind those shows is newcomer MOONSHINERS, which anchored Monday nights in January, but reruns couldn't lift the evening into average-number territory.  Newcomer FIRST WEEK IN also struggled in its debut airings to hit average numbers.

RAGIN CAJUN, which hit the schedule January 17, struggled to hit average numbers in its debut, or in its second episode.  Tuesday numbers were down 21% from last year, and 32% from December.

Wednesdays saw a nice jump from last year, with SONS OF GUNS scoring well above-average numbers.  The night was the second strongest of the week.  Thursdays also scored fairly well with a few airings of ALAKSA: THE LAST FRONTIER.

Weekends remain somewhat of a struggle for Discovery.  Saturdays and Sundays rounded out the schedule in January with a mix of programming, mostly Alaska-themed, but numbers remained below average.

Discovery continues to be on the lookout for the kinds of programming that's working for them - male docusoaps, job-based.  It's clear high stakes and adrenaline-filled story lines continue to work well.