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MTV Analysis - September 2011


* Bold denotes programming change


MTV's schedule is constantly changing.  They usually have at least 3 nights of primetime first-run programs, while the other nights are either re-runs or other specials.  They fill gaps in the schedule by showing feature films and a few acquired series relevant to their audience.  The timeslots leading up to premieres are usually a marathon of episodes of weeks' past.  They rely on a lot of repetition in the form of marathons, especially on the weekends.  They also make good use of tent poling by scheduling longstanding reliable series like THE REAL WORLD at 10pm and new, untested content either right before or at 10:30 or 11pm.

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

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

MTV ratings dipped throughout the month of September thanks to bolstered programming on broadcast television.  While JERSEY SHORE still sat atop Thursday’s primetime cable charts, the show’s performance was noticeably weaker than in months passed.

Despite this slow down, SHORE still claimed the network’s top program ratings per telecast for each its four premieres.  These numbers propped primetime Thursdays head and shoulders above all other nights on the channel.   Viewership among women aged 18-49 did not seem to abate at all – the show posted very strong numbers among young women.

While SHORE had the strongest individual ratings of the month, TEEN MOM performed best collectively.  MOM – always a female-skewing show – continued the same set trends.  Tuesdays were the second biggest night for the network and were up an overall 6% compared to last month.

TEEN DAD – a spinoff special featuring the husbands/boyfriends/ex’s of MOM – capitalized on the success of the original flagship show.  The one-off event scored well with women; attracting a sizable chunk of MOM’s core audience.

New show RIDICULOUSNESS – hosted by FANTASY FACTORY host Rob Dyrdek – debuted to encouraging ratings.  RIDICULOUSNESS , a clip show in the vein of THE SOUP and TOSH.0, was one of the few programs to attract a larger male audience.  Refugee fans of JACKASS and WILD BOYS seem to have found a familiar home.  Not all news was positive, however – the subsequent episode’s ratings were significantly lower.

Like RIDICULOUSNESS, DEATH VALLEY was also male-skewing, new, and a ratings success.  VALLEY is MTV’s latest addition to its ever-expanding array of scripted programming.   The show (which features a task force pitted against supernatural foes) cracked the network’s list of top 20 telecasts.

Fellow scripted program AWKWARD finished out well with its double episode season finale on the 28th.  Throughout its first season, the show consistently climbed in the ratings, ultimately becoming a bona fide hit for the network.

The same cannot be said for new show Cuff’d, which features young people stepping wildly over the line of the law before being hauled off to jail.  The show was female skewing but did not manage to amass much of an audience either way.