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WE TV Analysis - January 2011

JANUARY 2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

* Bold denotes programming change

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

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. Sound crazy? Watch the network. It works.

JANUARY 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

WEtv seems to be getting back on track, and has some successes to point to that they can use to build momentum.  GOLDEN GIRLS has certainly been a stalwart but can't do all the heavy lifting alone.

Betty White has help in the form of another "experienced" comedienne, Joan Rivers.  The premiere of Joan's two new series (STAND UP MOTHER and JOAN AND MELISSA) on Wednesday night led to one of the biggest nights of growth in some time.  Large double-digit growth over last year helped propel growth and led to the modest growth in the overall women 25-54 demo.  Saturday nights showed large declines, primarily to a poor repeat airing of JOAN AND MELISSA and STAND UP MOTHER.

Thursday's wedding themed lineup of MY FAIR WEDDING delivered modest growth in the Households and Women 18-49 demo and large double-digit growth for the Women 25-54 demo.  Oddly, the Sunday night wedding themed lineup (MY FAIR WEDDING X2 & RICH BRIDE, POOR BRIDE) had large double -digit declines in all demos from last year.

Once again this month, PRIME MOVIES featured two Sandra Bullock  movies-HOPE FLOATS and MISS CONGENIALITY.  Both movie nights showed modest growth in the women 25-54 demo.  Apparently, Betty, Joan and Sandra are a good combination for WEtv.

CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:

Known in development circles for smart, approachable executives, WEtv strikes us as especially approachable at the moment. They have relatively few titles that are used heavily in a very predictable, user-friendly schedule. Strong performers at the moment include THE LOCATOR, BRIDEZILLAS and MY FAIR WEDDING. Don't even think about men when pondering what to pitch these folks. They view in such small numbers that they're often barely measurable. Watching this network is especially important in understanding it because there's a mix of old off-network acquisitions with original productions. Ancient GOLDEN GIRLS sitcom episodes and reversions of old 20/20 and 48 HOURS segments coexist with some very smart original productions. It's impossible to understand how this works without watching. And following the netowork here each month. Come in with a new, affordable twist, and these folks will listen.