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TBS Analysis - February 2010


* Bold denotes programming change


TBS made a slight shift in its Monday and Tuesday male skewing sitcoms. Instead of one or two hour blocks of different sitcoms, Monday night is now all FAMILY GUY and Tuesday is all THE OFFICE. Wednesday is the female skewing night, with Tyler Perry programming bringing women to the network. Thursday, Friday and Saturday start out with more FAMILY GUY leading into a movie (or vice versa). Sunday prime is usually all movies.


No specific dates announced.


LIVE PRIMETIME RATINGS COMPARISON February 2010 vs. February 2009 (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

February 2010 was not kind to basic cable. Most networks experienced double digit declines in the face of the 2010 Winter Olympics and the February sweeps. And, while TBS is off by about 10% vs. last year, it actually improved women 18-49 performance vs. last month. The network is not up to its peak levels, but it is not at its lowest levels either.

There have not been many additions to the TBS program slate in quite some time. The network has been playing around with the programming it does have, moving FAMILY GUY in and out of nights, trying different lead-in and lead0out scenarios.

Mondays saw the best increases vs. both last year and last month, where the solid block of FAMILY GUY is anchoring the week. It is the best rated night by a wide margin on households and 18-49 demo ratings. FAMILY GUY is so dominant on the network that among the top telecasts among men 18-49 ratings, it holds the number one through number twenty-six spots.

On Tuesdays THE OFFICE is not doing as well. Since it was left to stand on its own without THE FAMILY GUY lead-in, THE OFFICE has lost audience each month. Tuesday's adult 18-49 ratings are down another 9% vs. last month, and THE OFFICE is down 35% vs. last year.

Wednesdays are Tyler Perry night, where the network focuses on women. Wednesdays were up 2% among target women 18-49 vs. last month, but the night is down 14% vs. last year. Both MEET THE BROWNS and HOUSE OF PAYNE have lost significant women 18-49 audience since last year (-25% and -30%). New episodes of HOUSE OF PAYNE in March and new program ARE WE THERE YET in the spring should go a long way towards refreshing the night.

Thursday through Sunday are movie dependent, and the titles resonated with women this month. Tyler Perry movies that ran as a stunt the last weekend of the month were the top rated telecasts among women 18-49, and led the way. Other top rated titles were Mean Girls and The Wedding Planner. Thursday through Sunday nights gained women and lost men vs. January, and so movies were the single biggest driver of the network's modest gains this month.


The current schedule is showing its lack of depth and some audience burn out. Just in time, TBS has a robust list of new projects coming its way. Two hour-long pilots and three animated shows are in the works. NEIGHBORS FROM HELL from the creators of FAMILY GUY and ARE WE THERE YET? from the creators of HOUSE OF PAYNE are safe bets for ratings success.

Turner execs Michael Wright and Steve Koonin have reportedly crafted TBS' strategy for 2010. TBS will employ the TNT-tested formula of adding more of what works, or in their words, "emulating the acquired product that is already working." Specifically, they are looking at tried and true formats from tried and true producers. 

According to TBS' original programming chief Michael Wright, TBS is looking to offer "feel-good" comedy for the late-20s, date-night movie audience. The "everyman" or "blue-collar" brand of humor seems to resonate best with TBS audiences.