Skip to main content

TruTV Analysis - November 2011


Original series dominate TruTV's primetime schedule.  The only acquired program is COPS.  There are no thematic evenings distinct from one another, rather a relatively even distribution of original series.  A heavy reliance on OPERATION REPO, comedic video clip properties, and a handful of other series dominate the schedule.

As new series are introduced to the schedule, the network created a few generic slots across the week for repeats.  The 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 have moved it into a regular timeslot.

With the transition of the network to TruTv at the beginning of 2008, the crime and investigation focus was replaced with a broader, non-fiction/reality mix of programs.  While a small base of crime series continues, new programming explores topics as diverse as oil wildcatters, poolside waitresses in Las Vegas, and repo men.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison November 2011 vs. November 2010 (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

November was an underwhelming month for truTV, which experienced stationary month-to-month ratings and falling yearly numbers.  Yet despite the lack of growth, the month was far from meritless.  The network’s core duo – HARDCORE PAWN and OPERATION REPO – continued to perform well and found themselves at the top of the heap, stealing the first and second spot respectively.

The strength of HARDCORE PAWN helped propel Tuesday nights above the rest of the week.  Collective male viewership for that night was the network’s brightest achievement of the month.   Now in its fifth season, PAWN remains the network’s biggest draw.  This fact is perhaps best-expressed by the following stat: of truTV’s top 20 telecasts for the month, half the list belonged to PAWN.  This is all the more impressive considering the majority of these telecasts were re-runs.

Tuesday nights were also aided by STORAGE HUNTERS. The show, still in its first season, has amassed a decent audience.  It returned to the network to complete the second half of the season following a 3-month hiatus

While OPERATON REPO couldn’t quite match the success of PAWN, the series certainly put up respectable numbers.  Just as with PAWN, REPO was more popular among men of the younger age demo (18-49.)  This is a good sign for the network, which has tenaciously pursued a younger audience over the passed few years.

Acquired program WIPEOUT rounded out the list of truTV programs that could be considered truly successful.  Once again, WIPEOUT was the only truTV program to drum up a solid female audience.  Widespread appeal for the show across multiple demographics helped boost Friday’s viewership.

BEAR SWAMP RECOVERY found itself in the middle of the road – neither a huge success nor a failure.  Since premiering in August, RECOVERY has maintained a modest but unwavering audience.  It’s unlikely that the show will suddenly break out, but RECOVERY is nothing if not dependable.

POLICE POV – which premiered earlier this year – has found it much more difficult to find an audience.  POV was the network’s lowest rated show for the month.  Along with BAIT CAR, POV was responsible for dragging Sunday nights down to frustrating levels. Sunday nights were only underperformed by primetime Mondays, which featured a block of WORLD’S DUMBEST.