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WE TV Analysis - November 2011


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 / November 2011 vs. November 2010  (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

WE finally managed to put an end to a ratings freefall that had spiraled unchecked over the past few months.  That isn’t to say that ratings were actually up, however– just that they simply managed to stay put.

Despite the lack of overall growth from a monthly or yearly scope, there were ratings increases on some narrower levels.  One specific bright spot was the explosion of popularity on Thursday nights.  Viewership among women aged 18-49 and 25-54 was up a full 133% from both a monthly and yearly standpoint.  This phenomenal increase can be attributed to BRAXTON FAMILY VALUES.  The show premiered its second season in November and has enjoyed ratings that far exceed typical WE numbers.

The show’s two premiere November episodes (and subsequent same day reruns) comprised the top four telecasts for the month.  WE took advantage of the show’s popularity and aired 15 total telecasts throughout the month – a figure only outdone by GOLDEN GIRLS.

GHOST WHISPERER – which also featured 15 telecasts – packed Saturdays wall to wall. Despite the marathon tactic, GHOST was generally unimpressive – much like everything else on WE that wasn’t BRAXTON.

MY FAIR WEDDING, which aired on Fridays, also appeared in marathon blocks.  WEDDING fared even worse than GHOST however, and continued to struggle for exposure.

I DO OVER – where newlyweds get a second chance at the perfect wedding – premiered at the midway point of the month.  Unfortunately, it also ended up at the midway point of the ratings – unable to break away from a cluster of underwhelming WE programs.

JOAN AND MELISSA was at the very bottom of the list, only managing the faintest blip on the radar.