Skip to main content

TruTV Analysis


Original series dominate truTV's primetime schedule.   On a given night, a single original series will tend to run in a solid block throughout primetime.  There's a heavy reliance on blue collar reality (HARDCORE PAWN, OPERATION REPO, etc), while comedic video clip properties and a handful of other series fill out the remainder of the schedule.

As new series are introduced to the schedule, the network creates a few generic slots across the week for repeats.  Additional exhibitions in short bursts of 2-4 weeks give their new titles a chance to gain recognition with the casual viewer.  When a series does break out, like OPERATION REPO, they move it into a regular timeslot.

With the transition from court TV to truTv at the beginning of 2008, the crime and investigation focus was replaced with a broader, non-fiction/reality mix of programs. Since its rebranding, truTV's has pursued reality programming with a special focus on repo and pawning.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison July 2012 vs. July 2011 (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

TruTV once again harnessed the power of HARDCORE PAWN, letting their most popular show do all the heavy lifting. The network had a lot to be happy about: both their monthly and yearly ratings enjoyed sizable upticks.

After a 20 day hiatus, HARDCORE returned for a sixth season. The show has been firing on all cylinders at a break neck pace: six (successful) seasons in two years is quite an impressive feat.

HARDCORE aired a whopping 57 telecasts throughout the month of July and still landed the top spot. Once again, the show was most popular among men 18-49, but PAWN posted good numbers with all main demographics. Unsurprisingly, truTV’s most popular telecast for the month was the sixth season premiere of HARDCORE. In addition to being the network’s most watched telecast, the season premiere was up 33% from season five.

The other premiere episodes of HARDCORE easily cracked the network’s top 20 telecasts. In fact, a total of 7 reruns of the show managed to break into the list of top rated telecasts.

While Tuesdays (which featured HARDCORE) were the highest rated night, Sundays saw the most year-to-year growth. TruTV has made a great effort to revamp their Sunday scheduling. Whereas last year the night was comprised of BAIT CAR, LAS VEGAS JAILHOUSE, and COPS, the network has now pulled Sundays closer in line with more typical truTV themes.

Sundays featured the well-rated STORAGE HUNTERS, now in its second season. HUNTERS, which enjoyed reruns of PAWN as its lead-in, really turned Sundays around for truTV. Overall, the night was up a full 45% among men 25-54.

HARDCORE spinoff COMBAT PAWN was also featured on Sunday nights. While the show is a far cry away from its predecessor, COMBAT shows promise. While none of the show’s five July episodes broke the network’s top 20 telecasts, COMBAT shows promise. The program’s rating among men 18-49 was only beaten out by HARDCORE, STORAGE, and LIZARD LICK TOWING.

LIZARD LICK TOWING, which was featured on Monday nights, remains a strong viewer destination in its second season. Aside from HARDCORE, TOWING had the most highly rated telecasts for the month.

Once again, truTV programming that wasn’t a part of the network’s thriving blue-collar reality genre took a backseat in the ratings. Clip shows like WORLD’S DUMBEST, TOP 20 MOST SHOCKING, and CLIPAHOLICS simply can’t compete with truTV’s reality programs.