This most female of networks runs a structurally very predictable and stable schedule. Most nights if you like what's on at 8pm, you'll like the whole evening, for they stack as heavily as virtually any network out there. Often, the same series title will run for an entire evening. The range of programming is very wide, with original series related to weddings taking up a lot of real estate (MY FAIR WEDDING, BRIDEZILLAS, AMAZING WEDDING CAKES). Off-network newsmagazine reversions are a popular staple, and THE LOCATOR, an original production aimed at finding and re-uniting family members lost to one another, remains a fairly strong performer. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention GOLDEN GIRLS. This sitcom antique, with its famous blue-haired ensemble cast, often gets more telecasts than any other title, and it has for years.
MARCH 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / March 2012 vs. March 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
This March, WE’s schedule was near identical to the month before – and month-to-month ratings remained unchanged. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for yearly ratings, which fell 20% among women in both the 18-49 and 25-54 demographics.
Once again, BRAXTON FAMILY VALUES was the network’s sole saving grace. The hit reality show – now closing out its second season – was easily WE’s highest rated program for the month. Due to BRAXTON’S popularity, Thursday nights stood head and shoulders above the rest of the week. The program also claimed the top seven telecasts spots of the month – even though there were only five original episodes in March. In other words, WE’s other programming couldn’t even compete with re-runs of BRAXTON.
MY FAIR WEDDING was one such show whose premiere episodes fell short of BRAXTON re-airings. Now in its fifth season, WEDDING had the modest distinction of being the second most viewed program on network. Unfortunately, where WE is concerned, the drop from the top spot to number two is substantial.
Aside from Thursdays, the ratings from one night to next were uniformly low. Worse, WE’s only other original program – JOAN AND MELISSA – ranked at the very bottom of the list.
Acquired programs GOLDEN GIRLS, GHOST WHISPERER, and FRASIER ended up in the middle of the pack. Just as in months past, WE allotted entire nights of programming to each program. Despite the network’s dedication to this programming scheme, the marathon runs of acquired programming have still failed to pay off.
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