(Updated as of August 29, 2009)
CURRENT AND SIGNATURE PROGRAMS:
Follows the worst of the worst brides in the days and weeks leading up to their weddings.
Status: Currently airing.
I WANT TO SAVE YOUR LIFE (REALITY)
This undercover intervention series will attempt to save the life of an overweight person whose family is concerned for their well-being.
Status: Premiere Date: April 25th at 10pm. Eight, 30 minute eps. Produced by High Noon Entertainment.
LITTLE MISS PERFECT (REALITY)
WE tv is taking on the controversial world of kids beauty pageants in a new documentary series. The network has ordered six one-hour episodes which follow Florida families entering their 5 to 11-year-old daughters in a beauty competition. The show will follow the luxurious daily lives of the rich and famous as they shop their way through ultra-expensive stores to buy outrageous things.
Status: Premiere Date: February 18th at 10pm.
MOST POPULAR (REALITY)
A new game show featuring an all-female jury judging seven contestants with one ultimately named "Most Popular".
Status: Premiere Date: August 2009. Six, 1-hour episodes.
RAISING SEXTUPLETS (REALITY)
After a two year struggle to conceive, Jenifer and Brian Masche find themselves with sextuplets.
Status: Premiere Date: June 11th at 10pm. Six, 1-hour episodes.
TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:
PLATINUM WEDDINGS, GOLDEN GIRLS, BRIDEZILLAS, THE LOCATOR, 20/20 ON WE, WOMEN BEHIND BARS, 48 HOURS ON WE, I WANT TO SAVE YOUR LIFE, CINEMATHERAPY
Structurally, these folks obviously care about predictability and stability. In July, schedule changes were predictably minor.
If schedule simplicity remains a hallmark at WEtv, its range of offerings is instructive to anyone contemplating a pitch there. GOLDEN GIRLS, a 1985-1992 ensemble (of older women) sitcom, 20/20 ON WE, and WOMEN BEHIND BARS might all be said to tell stories in ways that have been around for a long, long time. RAISING SEXTUPLETS, BRIDEZILLAS, I WANT TO SAVE YOUR LIFE and AMAZING WEDDING CAKES are all more hip to 21st Century structuring and packaging. They all coexist in a coherent, female-friendly schedule.
**September 27th - MY FAIR WEDDING (season #2) at 10pm.
JULY 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
August 2009 vs. August 2008 Ratings
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
With an exceptionally stable, evening-predictable schedule, and one enormously important series, this network - a persistent engine that could -- can seem a throwback to another era. Back when Ronald Reagan was president and the Soviet Union still existed, everybody knew what was on TV on any given night... and Golden Girls was a broadcast hit.
Welcome to We TV, 2009.
The network's schedule changes from month-to-month are seldom more than slight adjustments, and a 20 year-old sitcom starring an ensemble of graying women gets nearly two entire nights of primetime to itself. The schedule carries some new and innovative programming, but the ratios are impressive. In August, only three series presented telecasts numbering in the double digits: BRIDEZILLAS (15 telecasts), 20/20 ON WE (15 telecasts) and GOLDEN GIRLS (58 telecasts).
Of We TV's top twenty telecasts in August, half were GOLDEN GIRLS episodes. While eight of these were in the botton ten, the top ten telecasts were dominated by BRIDEZILLAS, which contributed six episodes. AMAZING WEDDING CAKES and GOLDEN GIRLS each showed up in the top ten twice. So you don't have to backtrack, that's three series in the top twenty list for August: GOLDEN GIRLS (10), BRIDEZILLAS (6) and AMAZING WEDDING CAKES (4).
And yet, most General Managers would give up their parking spaces for We TV's August growth rates over July. Every night was up by double digits except Sunday, which was flat. HH's were up overall by 15%. And these numbers follow a flat July, not a terrible one, so they're all the more impressive.
The biggest growth night was Thursday, up HH36%, where an all night RAISING SEXTUPLETS stack was replace by three hours of 48 HOURS ON WE. Saturdays, the only other evening with a significant change, was up HH 33%. Here, where AMAZING WEDDING CAKES had occasionally appeared at 8pm, GOLDEN GIRLS episodes were slipped in to make it a solid evening of Bea Arthur & Company.BRIDEZILLAS kept its two solid perches (Friday night at 10pm, following CINEMATHERAPY and Sunday at 8pm and 9 pm). Sunday night will keep We executives honest this month. Two high-profile original productions, BRIDEZILLAS and AMAZING WEDDING CAKES didn't move the HH dial a bit.
The next few months at WeTV will be especially interesting, in the wake of their long-time programming and scheduling-Tzar's departure over the summer for another network. He left with the ship on a steady course, and it's easy to sense that this was no small feat, given the tricky balancing act with high-volume older acquisitions and lower volume original productions.
As mentioned in previous analyses: Keep those thinking caps on, producers. This is a network primed for a relatively low-cost original production that will catch and hold some newer, younger viewers without rocking the boat too wildly. This network has a very loyal audience whom WeTV execs need to keep.
GHOST WHISPERER (off-net CBS. Share with SciFi Channel)
GIRLFRIENDS (Off-net CW, last three seasons)
THE LOCATOR (season #2, 14 episodes)
The television industry's top news stories, analysis and blogs of the day.