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E! Analysis - June 2011


* Bold denotes programming change


Even with the cluttered programming on cable on Sunday nights, E! is not afraid to air one of their best originals like  KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS or HOLLY'S WORLD.  Most of their schedule varies night by night, week to week.  It is rather looked upon as if you are watching the brand, and not appointment viewing.

This cable network has developed a successful, highly profitable take on the old broadcast network formula -- find and create accessible stars and watch the viewers pour in, but for fractions of the cost of a single episode of a network drama.


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

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

In a press release dated June 28th, E! trumpeted, "This month ranks as E!'s highest-rated June ever with the network's target A18-49 demo"¦as well as with the key W18-34 and W18-49 viewers"¦"

While this may all be true, the primetime ratings were anemic on nearly every level.  The key 18-49 female age group was down 8% while men of the same age were down a full 43%.

The biggest highlight for the network was the return of KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS - now in its sixth season.  While KARDASHIAN was the top rated program of the month, the new season premiere was received limply in comparison to the fifth season's strong entrance.  The subsequent June episodes also failed to match the fifth season's averages.

Nevertheless, the three new episodes of the KARDASHIANS claimed the top three telecast spots of the month.  Unsurprisingly, Sunday nights - which featured premiere KARDASHIANS - were the highest rated.

THE VOICE, which originally aired on E!'s parent network NBC, was the second highest rated program.  The show delivered very high numbers among women and also served as the most popular show among men 18-49.  Considering THE VOICE'S success for NBC, it comes as little surprise that the show was able to find an audience.

Perhaps the biggest point of interest for the network this month was the premiere of ICE LOVES COCO.  The show follows rapper Ice-T and his designer wife Coco Austin along their high speed Hollywood life.

ICE is a snug fit for the network - it has all the strong personalities, drama, and glitz that have become E!'s trademark.  Male viewers aged 18-49 turned in solid numbers and, more impressively, it was the most popular program among women in the same age bracket. Men may have an inherent interest in ICE simply because it features an entertainer they're familiar with outside of the show, just as with KHLOE & LAMAR.  ICE also rose in viewers considerably from its first to second episode, hinting that the show may have some staying power.

While ICE and KARDASHIAN contributed to strong Sunday nights, other days did not fare as well.  Wednesdays, which were comprised of SEX AND THE CITY, KHLOE & LAMAR, and movies - were particularly weak.  Both SEX and E!'s MOVIES THAT WE LOVE both ranked very low on the list of top programming.

The films that fell under June's MOVIES THAT WE LOVE banner (Bad Boys, Because I Said So, Pride and Prejudice, and Scary Movie 2) fell flat with viewers.  This was especially bad news for E!, considering that Tuesday though Saturday all featured films.

THE SOUP and FASHION POLICE WEEKLY - which both aired on Fridays - were in the middle of the pack.  Fridays were the second biggest night for the network and experienced no year-to-year change among women aged 18-49.  THE SOUP edged out POLICE in popularity with more young male and female viewers.  TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY submitted a so-so performance, trailing SOUP and POLICE inall demographics.


E! and Virgin Produced, the newly minted production arm of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group, have forged a multiyear first-look development deal in which E! will have exclusive rights to all Virgin Produced reality series development.  Virgin Produced serves as the film and television development, packaging and production arm of the Virgin Group.

E! has excelled at creating the next celebrity from scratch through cheaper, unscripted reality TV and its formula to create an alternate universe of reality-based celebrities who have become just as famous as the sitcom and drama stars in network prime-time, but with more impact on E!'s brand and bottom line than any sitcom, medical procedural or legal drama could for broadcast.

A lot of E!'s original reality programming starts with a family or an ensemble piece.  It's not about one person, but rather a group.  As in the case of the KARDASHIANS.  KARDASHIANS allow the E! viewers to vicariously live the fantasy of its stars but also points to specific touchstones that are very relatable to viewers.