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TBS Analysis


Monday night starts the week with a FAMILY GUY stack, and Tuesday follows with a stack of THE BIG BANG THEORY. The two programs mix it up on Wednesday and Thursday nights with FAMILY GUY leading into THE BIG BANG THEORY. TBS new round of original comedies is running on Thursday nights as well. Friday through Sunday were all about movies on TBS for years, but now Tyler Perry programming brings women and African-American viewers to the network on Fridays, after getting the boot from its long-standing home on Wednesday nights.



Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

JULY 2012: After a long period without much programming activity, TBS is back in the game. With three original programs airing this July, adult 18-49 ratings jumped by 43% vs. last year and by 7% vs. last month. The audience make-up is changing as well…getting older and more female than it was when FAMILY GUY was driving the TBS boat.

Once the crux of the TBS schedule, FAMILY GUY is still no schedule slouch, running 10 times per week. Men 18-49 average program ratings are ten percent lower than they were last year. The program is centered on Monday nights, which is also the youngest and most male night of the week.

Tuesday’s three-hour block of THE BIG BANG THEORY is the best-rated night of the week, across the board. The program defines TBS these days, with 70 telecasts airing in primetime this July. Ratings are holding up vs. previous months, and the show is being used to introduce new programming and to feed into CONAN. As we said before, it is also drawing an older audience to the net. Tuesday’s adult 18-49 ratings are up by 130% vs. last year, and its median age is 34% older than last year. The total primetime audience is 11% older. TBS’ total primetime audience is just a tick under 40, and 25-54 ratings are now outpacing the 18-49 ratings.

Wednesdays are a hybrid of Mondays and Tuesdays, with an hour of FAMILY GUY leading into two hours of BANG, which of course leads into CONAN at 11.

The tricky night is Thursday, where TBS has decided to roll out its long-awaited original comedies. MEN AT WORK was up first, joining the line-up in May in the 10 to 10:30 slot. TBS isn’t quite sure it can give up its BANG / CONAN combo, yielding the 10:30 slot only for premieres and finales. MEN’s performance was basically even with last month’s, and lost about 10% of its BANG lead-in. It is right near the top in the ratings rankers, behind BANG. "MEN AT WORK is a strong addition to the TBS lineup and has worked extremely well paired with THE BIG BANG THEORY," said Michael Wright, president and head of programming at TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies, and he granted a 10-episode second season. When MEN finished its run, SULLIVAN & SON was up next. The first three episodes of SULLIVAN delivered exactly the same average adult 18-49 program ratings as the last three episodes of MEN AT WORK. Original comedy THE WEDDING BAND is slated to debut later this year. It looks like TBS is on its way to building a more robust comedy line-up.

COUGAR TOWN is making the move to the network as an original series and 2 BROKE GIRLS was recently acquired. Plus, Tyler Perry fare continues to run on Fridays. This month new episodes of FOR BETTER OR WORSE joined HOUSE OF PAYNE repeats, and scored some solid numbers, including the best female ratings behind BANG.

The net has put together a VERY FUNNY NEWS skein consisting of theatricals, which always follows the female-skewing Friday night block. Surprisingly, not all of the Friday night movies are female skewing.

With the exceptions of a couple of Saturday night runs of BANG, the weekends are all about movies. The net is playing around with the VERY FUNNY NEWS skein on Sundays as well, trying the same movie both with and without the extra commentary. On average, VERY FUNNY NEWS delivers better ratings than the regular TBS PRIME MOVIE that airs through-out the weekend.