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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 August 2012 vs. August 2011 (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

truTV remained largely unchanged in the ratings from both a monthly and yearly standpoint. In fact, the only visible shift among men was a 6% loss among the 18-49 demo in terms of monthly change.

Nearly all of the network’s programs contributed to the slight dip in August ratings. Even the formidable HARDCORE PAWN wasn’t exempt from sluggish numbers. The network’s highest rated show was down 6% (from July) among men aged 18-49 but managed to remain unchanged among men 25-54.

But even on a down month, PAWN remains a few notches above anything else airing on the network. The show’s four premiere episodes for the month all placed within truTV’s list of top five telecasts. Also notable was the fact that PAWN was the network’s top rated program overall, even with a total of 48 telecasts for the month – a figure that far outstrips any other show airing in August. Thanks to PAWN, Tuesday nights were easily the most successful night of the week for truTV.

While PAWN was king, LIZARD LICK TOWING (airing on Monday nights) was right on its heels. LIZARD neared the close of its third season in August, impressively earning the same number of 18-49 male viewers as PAWN. To get a sense of the dominance of this tandem, consider the fact that the pair collectively comprised 17 of truTV’s top 20 telecasts of the month.

The sole program to improve upon its monthly ratings was OPERATION REPO. The show – now in its tenth season – earned fair ratings, with the bulk of its viewership coming from the male 18-49 range.

The network welcomed a new addition to its ever-expanding slate of blue-collar reality shows. The recent arrival, POSSUM HOLLER GARAGE, received solid if not extraordinary ratings. Fellow newcomer COMBAT PAWN exceeded POSSUM among men in both main age demos.

COMBAT slipped only slightly in the ratings, hinting that the network may have parlayed the pawn genre into yet another successful series.