(Updated as of May 22, 2009)
Adults 18-49, Adults 25-54.
TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:
SMOKING GUN PRESENTS, COPS, MOST SHOCKING, OPERATION REPO, BAIT CAR
Original series dominate TruTV's primetime schedule. The only acquired program is COPS. Since most of their series provide a different take in the area of criminal law and justice, there are no thematic evenings distinct from one another, rather a relatively even distribution of original series. A heavy reliance on FORENSIC FILES and a handful of other series dominates 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 MOST SHOCKING, 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 has been replaced with a broader, non-fiction/reality mix of programs. While the existing base of crime series continues, new programming explores topics as diverse as oil wildcatters, poolside waitresses in Las Vegas, and repo men.
MARCH to APRIL:
Monday - Back to back episodes of BAIT CAR take over at 8pm
Tuesday - MOST SHOCKING moves in at 9pm and 10pm
Wednesday - MOST DARING takes over at 10pm for MOST SHOCKING
Saturday - new line-up for the night; SPEEDERS at 8pm, SMOKING GUN PRESENTS at 9pm, VACATION VIDEOS at 10pm
Sunday - another repeat of MOST SHOCKING moves in at 10pm
** None announced
MAY AND BEYOND:
** None announced
YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:
For most networks, April means longer days, lower HUTs and the ensuing drop in audience figures. This year, not so for TruTV. Bucking the trend, ratings were way up over last year, and practically even with March. Target men were up 10-20% in the key demos versus last year. And all of this good news comes in a month where no new series were introduced, just a handful of premiere episodes of existing series. One of those existing series has become the clear frontrunner in the schedule: OPERATION REPO. More on that below.
Looking ahead to May, even with no premiere series announced, we're anticipating strong year to year increases. Last year, May fell precipitiously from April making it a fairly easier bar to hit. However, despite the newfound momentum, broadcast sweeps and longer daylight hours will inevitably take their toll. We'll likely see a fade from April. The size of the fade will dictate a solid month or trouble on the horizon.
APRIL 2009 RATINGS ANALYSIS:
For the second straight month, OPERATION REPO is the story. It's the number one series for total viewers, men 18-49 and 25-54, women and just about every other measureable demographic we can find. Four premieres this month did exceedingly well, making up the top four telecasts of the month. Repeats weren't far behind, placing another seven airings in the month's Top 20.
BAIT CAR was back with repeats on Mondays and the numbers were fairly good. Second best series for target men 25-54. More important, it provided a steady platform for OPERATION REPO right behind it.
SMOKING GUN PRESENTS ran a month of premieres along with a handful of repeats. The usually solid series fell slightly this month in target men, and was just barely above average for the month. TSG has been a key component of the schedule since it launched. Hopefully, this month was just a bump in the road.
Despite an all premiere month, SPEEDERS slowed down significantly. Every demo, including the key male breaks, was down by a large margin from last year. One particularly bad week didn't help, but all four weeks were well below network averages.
MOST SHOCKING, MOST DARING, and FORENSIC FILES all struggled this month as well. MOST SHOCKING has become the schedule's utility player, popping up all over the place. FORENSIC FILES featured a few premieres, but the male audience 4-13% from last year.
Saturday nights were subject to a major overhaul this month. We're not sure what took them so long to make the change, but we're glad they did. Gone were the older, female skewing series from the Court TV days. In were a bunch of repeat series from elsewhere in the schedule. SPEEDERS, SMOKING GUN, WW VACATION VIDEOS. The night is still one of the lowest rated on the schedule, just ahead of Fridays, but it's now moving in the right direction. Male demos increased 50-80% over last year.
ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:
DISORDER IN THE COURT, STRINGERS: LA, HAUNTING EVIDENCE, BEACH PATROL, SUBURBAN SECRETS
The television industry's top news stories, analysis and blogs of the day.