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TBS Analysis - November 2009


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 and Friday start out with sitcoms (more FAMILY GUY for now) that lead into a movie. Weekend prime is usually all movies.

UPCOMING PREMIERES: LOPEZ TONIGHT: November 9, Monday - Thursday at 11PM.
THE VERY FUNNY SHOW: November 19 @ Midnight


LIVE PRIMETIME RATINGS COMPARISON November 2009 vs. November 2008(% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Coming off the October MLB play-offs, month ago comparisons are almost entirely irrelevant this time around. So, in this month's analysis we will look solely at ratings vs. November 2008. As you can see above, there were some big swings, but bottom line, TBS came out even with last year.

Last month we asked, -"is there such a thing as too much FAMILY GUY? -"  It looks like TBS's programmers have answered with a resounding NEVER ENOUGH! Actually, the program is still slotted 10 times per week, but it has moved around so that it is the sole program on Monday nights (knocking MY NAME IS EARL off the schedule) and the 8PM anchor on Thursdays (bumping FRIENDS) and Fridays. Wherever it was added, numbers popped, and where it was taken away, numbers fizzled. The program surpasses all others on the line-up among men 18-49, and is by far the best draw the network has in bringing young viewes to the network.

On Tuesdays, THE OFFICE now stands alone. It is TBS' second-best performer among young men, but without a FAMILY GUY lead-in, it has dropped 17% of those men 18-49 since last year.

On Wednesdays TBS switches to a female focus, with Tyler Perry programming. New episodes of MEET THE BROWNS and HOUSE OF PAYNE helped spike the numbers this month. The November 11 HOUSE OF PAYNE was actually the top rated telecast of the month. TBS played around with the line-up on Wednesdays, putting MEET THE BROWNS at 10, instead of as a 9PM HOUSE OF PAYNE sandwich. That helps, but nothing pops the numbers like new episodes.

Thursdays took a big jump from last year, with households gaining 36% better ratings, men 18-49 gaining 65% and women 18-49 gaining just 7%. Plus the median age dropped 13%. The cause of all this can all be said in two words, you guessed it, FAMILY and GUY.

Friday night still starts with FAMILY GUY, followed by a movie, which does put a limitation on TBS's female skewing movies no longer have a female skewing lead-in. That's a large inventory of movies, including DINNER AND A MOVIE, left without a natural home.

The weekend's wall-to-wall movies were heavy on the family-friendly variety, as is appropriate for the holiday season. Traditional fare like Wizard of Oz, Cat In the Hat, and The Santa Clause were the leading titles this month.

On Monday, November 9, TBS launched into the latenight talkshow fray with LOPEZ TONIGHT. n its first four weeks on TBS, LOPEZ TONIGHT averaged 1.4 million viewers; 1 million households; 478,000 adults 18-34; and 869,000 adults 18-49, down from the premiere week. Compared to average prime in November, LOPEZ's household ratings are 20% lower and adult 18-49 ratings are 15% lower.

TBS is creatively positioning itself against the rest of the latenight talk shows. Among both adults 18-34 and 18-49, the first three weeks of Lopez Tonight outdelivered the season-to-date averages for The Colbert Report, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live and Last Call with Carson Daly. In addition, Lopez Tonight outdelivered the season-to-date average for Late Show with David Letterman and The Wanda Sykes Show among adults 18-34. No word from TBS on the head-to-head numbers.

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS: In July, TBS ordered 20 additional episodes of TYLER PERRY'S HOUSE OF PAYNE, taking the sitcom's total number of episodes to 172. Originally premiering in 2006 with 10 episodes, TBS followed the successful test-run with an order for 90 more episodes, then two more orders of 26 episodes each, plus this current order. HOUSE OF PAYNE is owned by Perry, licensed by TBS and distributed by Debmar-Mercury. MEET THE BROWNS was licensed from Debmar-Mercury using the same business model.

ARE WE THERE YET?, which is loosely based on the movie of the same name, was ordered from Debmar-Mercury using the same business model as HOUSE OF PAYNE and MEET THE BROWNS. The sitcom is set to launch with 10 test episodes in June 2010, with the potential to add an additional 90 eps.

A TV-exclusive 13-title movie package was picked up from Warner Bros. In May 2009. Titles include Terminator Salvation (for TNT), Watchmen, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Gran Torino, The Hangover, The Informant and Sherlock Holmes. Each movie will air about 30 months after their theatrical releases, putting the start date at the end of 2011.

A Lionsgate deal was announced in April 2009, that will give TNT and TBS first network TV rights to The Bank Job, Transporter 3 and Crank: High Voltage, and more importantly for TBS, Tyler Perry movies Madea Goes to Jail and The Family That Preys in 2010 / 2011. Second-window rights were purchased for Disaster Movie and My Best Friend's Girl.

TNT and TBS signed up for theatrical prebuys for cable rights to New Line and Picturehouse titles: The Women, Journey to the Center of the Earth, 17 Again and Four Christmases.

TBS signed a Lionsgate deal valued between $8 and $10 million, which also included pre-buys. Titles include Tyler Perry'a Meet the Browns (begins 2010) and Larry the Cable Guy's Witless Protection (begins 2010), allowing TBS to lock in those franchises. Other titles include Lord of War and In the Mix, which will become available this spring.

At the end of February '08, TBS and TNT completed a big movie purchase from WB. Among the titles likely to appear on TBS are Get Smart and Yes Man. TBS will be able to start running Ant Bully in June. The rest of the movies will trickle in to the two networks throughout 2010 and 2011.

A $12 million Lionsgate movie package was sold to TBS and sister network TNT, and includes titles such as Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married and Daddy's Little Girls (which aired on TBS in August '09), Bernie Mac's Pride and Bill Engvall's Delta Force.

Rush Hour 3 from New Line begins airing in 2010,


MY BOYS renewed for a nine-episode fourth season, to air in 2010..