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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.

Since its 2008 rebranding, truTV has maintained a dedication to reality programming with a special focus on repo and pawning.  Recently the network has incorporated more unscripted comedy to complement its existing reality fare.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison February 2013 vs. February 2012 (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

truTV enjoyed a strong February, with increased ratings from a yearly standpoint and stationary month-to-month numbers among men.

HARDCORE PAWN – typically the anchor of the network’s schedule – was limited to a single new episode in February, plus a 1/28 episode counted toward the month by Nielsen. The show, which has been renewed for another season, closed out its sixth season early in February. The show’s season finale provided the network with its strongest telecast for the month. The February finale found its largest audience among men 18 – 49 (very slightly edging out the 25 – 54 demo).

Despite only having two new telecasts (and 26 reruns), PAWN was the second most watched truTV program overall. Thanks to the strength of the show, Tuesdays were the most popular night of the week among men 25 - 54. Tuesdays were also bolstered by spinoff HARDCORE PAWN: CHICAGO.

With the original PAWN pushed to the sideline for the month (in terms of new episodes), CHICAGO was left with the burden of filling some of the void. CHICAGO proved a capable replacement, earning the network’s best overall ratings for the month. Of course, the fact that the show didn’t air any reruns didn’t hurt its overall ratings either. The show, which debuted in January, was also down 8% among both men 18 – 49 and 25 – 54 from a monthly standpoint. Though it doesn’t appear that CHICAGO will overtake the original PAWN anytime soon, CHICAGO is proving a worthy addition to the truTV lineup.

Monday had the largest month-to-month spike in viewership of any night of the week. This increase was due to truTV swapping out reruns of PAWN in favor of new LIZARD LICK TOWING. Though LIZARD was actually down from January (it was unable to match its season three premiere, which garnered the show its best ratings ever) it did well for the network within the context of the month. All four of LIZARD’S new episodes wound up within truTV’s top ten most watched telecasts.

FULL THROTTLE SALOON, which aired on Wednesdays, was down from the month prior. The show, which is now in its fourth season, was down 6% among both men 18 – 49 and 25 – 54.

CONTAINER WARS and STORAGE HUNTERS both aired on Sundays, the weakest rated night of the week. For the most part both shows stayed flat with their January ratings among men. However, WARS did manage a 6% bump with men 25 – 54.

Brand new shows GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS and UPLOAD WITH SHAQUILLE O’NEAL each had fair debuts among men and skewed toward the 18 – 49 demo.