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WE tv Analysis


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.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / June 2012 vs. June 2011 (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

WE tv remained unchanged from May but dropped considerably from last year: both women 18-49 and 25-54 dropped an equal 33%. The fact that relative hit MARY MARY only featured a single new episode in June contributed to the low ratings.

The season finale of MARY earned the network its best ratings among women. Though the finale was the highest rated telecast, the season closer was something of a disappointment. The finale numbers were slightly less than the ratings produced by regular episodes from the previous month. Despite the fact that Thursdays (which featured MARY) were the most popular night for the network, they were down 25% among women 25-54.

Although MARY ended its first season, there was some hope that one hit would be swapped for another in the form of LA HAIR. The show premiered on 5/31 and replaced MARY in its Thursday timeslot. While the premiere managed promising numbers, subsequent episodes were less encouraging.

Though the ratings currently being achieved by HAIR are far better than the average WE show, it’s become clear that the show is not destined to be the network’s next BRAXTON FAMILY VALUES or MARY. The show has clung a little better to women 18-49 but its loss of women 25-54 is stark.

Though WE’s sudden and aggressive pursuit of eclectic programming is admirable, the network’s undertaking has been met with mixed success. Brand new KENDRA ON TOP represents another of WE’s recent missteps. The show’s premiere was viewed by less households than an episode of Golden Girls (a WE acquisition) – a grim sign for any show.

KENDRA debuted to moderate numbers and subsequent episodes have found roughly the same number of viewers. But even though ratings for the show have been tepid, they are still an improvement from WE’s average ratings. In fact, Thursdays – which feature Kendra – were up an impressive 100% from last year (which aired episodes of MY FAIR WEDDING and BRIDEZILLAS). BRIDEZILLAS remained unchanged from a year ago, and ended up roughly in the middle of the pack.

WE’s acquisitions had varying degrees of success. CSI: MIAMI thinly beat out GOLDEN GIRLS (which aired an impressive 24 episodes in June). GHOST WHISPERER, meanwhile, did the worst out of WE’s lineup.