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TBS Performance/Schedule Analysis - January 2009


(Updated as of February 23, 2009)


Adults 18-34, Adults 18-49 & Adults 25-54.





TBS runs original and off-net sitcoms in back-to back one or two hour blocks from Monday to halfway through Thursday. Friday is usually a one-hour block of off net sitcoms followed by a movie. Weekend prime is all movies.



MEET THE BROWNS debuted in January, bringing a much-needed new program to the line-up. The movie lead-ins on Thursdays and Fridays shifted around between FRIENDS and FAMILY GUY, and the SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS aired live on the 25th.



** January 6, 2009 (late night - 11PM): 10 ITEMS OR LESS
** January 7, 2009 @ 10PM: MEET THE BROWNS debuts with 10 eps.
** January 25, 2009: SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS simulcast live with TNT



** March 2009: BILL ENGVALL & MY BOYS return with new seasons


TBS is starting out this year down slightly among households and women (-10%) and up slightly with men (+8%).

So what was working for the network this year? Monday nights showed a nice bump, due to the pairing of FAMILY GUY with MY NAME IS EARL over last year's FRIENDS / FAMILY GUY match-up. FAMILY GUY also stepped in to help out with movie lead-ins on some Fridays, boosting those numbers by respectable margins. MEET THE BROWNS bowed with stellar numbers among women. And a strong movie line-up rounded out each week and the month. Above average performers included Diary of a Mad Woman, Twister, multiple runs of You, Me and Dupree, My Cousin Vinny, Independence Day and School of Rock.

What wasn't working? THE OFFICE is losing traction with households and women, down -24% among women 18-49. FAMILY GUY is also losing female viewers, down -14% from last year. HOUSE OF PAYNE was in repeats this month, and those numbers fell accordingly (-20% or so). On Thursdays there is now a two hour block of FRIENDS leading into the movie vs. a one hour block last year, and numbers for the night are down about 10%. However, the drop has more to do with movie title selection than FRIENDS' performance.


Bottom-line TBS ratings were down between -5% and -9% this month vs. December. FAMILY GUY continues to set the pace with 40 telecasts, or nearly one-quarter of the schedule devoted entirely to the off-FOX sitcom.

Mondays gained more men 18-49 than any other night this month. An eighteen percent ratings jump among that group was precipitated by a surge in viewing to MY NAME IS EARL and the highest rated telecasts of FAMILY GUY. Monday is the highest rated night among men 18-49, but is also the second lowest rated night among women 18-49. Not too much co-viewing going on here!

On Tuesdays, FAMILY GUY's influence continues, as this is the second-highest rated night among men 18-49. The back-to-back run of THE OFFICE at 10 and 10:30 lost one-fourth of its female viewers from last month, but was even on men.

Wednesday brought the new program MEET THE BROWNS to the line-up. It was the top rated program of the month in households and women 18-49 (by a comfortable margin). It was also the only program to break the top ten telecasts besides FAMILY GUY. Wednesday also brought repeats of HOUSE OF PAYNE, so the numbers for the night were down by -20% among core women 18-49 viewers.

Thursdays were off by about -25% across the board this month vs. last. Some of this has to do with less plays of FAMILY GUY (in favor of FRIENDS), but most of it has to do with movie title selections. Last month's showing of The Santa Clause nearly doubled the highest rated of this month's titles (The Mask).

As we have said before, Friday through Sunday performance is all about the movie titles the network chooses to put on the air. Women ratings were up on each of the three nights, while men only showed a slight increase on Sundays. It should be noted that Saturday's titles skewed particularly older this month, with a +15% gain in median age, resulting in a population that was (gasp) over 40!

MEET THE BROWNS was a much-needed addition to the line-up this month, and we hope to hear news of more additions in the near future, before the line-up begins to show its age.


COMEDY FESTIVALS: TBS is strengthening its position as the new home for comedy festivals while HBO is turning away. TBS unveiled a new five-day Chicago summer festival, set to launch in 2009. And it just aired the fourth annual Comedy Festival in Las Vegas in November. "We're ready to dive into the festival arena full force," said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. "These events are a perfect opportunity for TBS to showcase some of the best talents in the comedy industry and to expand the reach of our brand in exciting new ways. We will use the festivals as a mike to talk to comedy fans in a 360-degree way all year and offer cross-platform marketing opportunities," he said. (Hollywood Reporter)

MOVIES: TNT and sister network TBS have joined the crowd on signing up for theatrical prebuys, obtaining the cable-TV rights to four high-visibility movies set for release by New Line and Picturehouse later this year: The Women,Journey to the Center of the Earth, the Zac Efron vehicle 17 Again and the Vince Vaughn-Reese Witherspoon comedy Four Christmases.

TBS signed a Lionsgate deal valued between $8 and $10 million, which also included pre-buys. Titles include Tyler Perry's 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, with Nicolas Cage, and In the Mix, starring Usher, which will become available this spring.

At the end of February '08, TBS and TNT completed a big movie purchase from WB. As is the recent trend, many of the titles were bought on a pre-buy basis. Among the titles likely to appear on TBS are Get Smart, with Steve Carell, and Jim Carrey's 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, Bernie Mac's Pride and Bill Engvall's Delta Force.

Rush Hour 3 from New Line begins airing in 2010, Fracture begins in 2009.


MEET THE BROWNS was quickly given an order for eighty episodes; the original order was for ten episodes.

MY BOYS and BILL ENGVALL have been renewed for their 3rd seasons, and are due to be back on the air in early 2009.