TBS is on top for the third consecutive month, ranking once again as basic cable's #1 network in primetime delivery of adults 18-49, up a whopping 24% over last April. The network also took the top spot with adults 18-34 in primetime, the second month in a row it has achieved that ranking. For the year to date, TBS is #1 in both demos, unseating last year's Jan.-April leaders, MTV among adults 18-34 and USA among adults 18-49.
TBS's primetime success this year continues to be fueled by the extraordinary performance of The Big Bang Theory, which easily took first place as cable's #1 comedy series in April, with an average of 2.7 million viewers and 1.5 million adults 18-49. The show also 692,000 adults 18-34, making it cable's top sitcom with that key demo.
Last week, TBS's late-night series CONAN drew 1,034,000 viewers in Live + Same Day delivery last week, a gain of 2% over the prior week. The show boosted its delivery of key adult demos by wide margins, garnering 8% growth among adults 18-34 (361,000) and 14% growth among adults 18-49 (700,000). Tuesday night's episode, featuring The Big Bang Theory's Simon Helberg, was especially strong, climbing to 1.3 million viewers in Live + Same Day. In time-shifted viewing for the week of April 9, CONAN averaged a final tally of 1 million viewers in Live + 7 delivery, with 383,000 adults 18-34 and 645,000 adults 18-49.
For the entire month of April 2012, Adult Swim ranked as basic cable's #1 network for Total Day Delivery of young adult and young men demos - adults 18-34, 18-49 & 18-24, as well as men 18-34, 18-49 & 18-24. The network also ranked #3 for the month in Prime Time (behind TBS & ESPN) for delivery of targeted adults 18-34. Among its highlights, Adult Swim's average Total Day delivery among adults 18-34 (536,000) grew by 2% and adults 18-24 (306,000) by 9%.
Across April, Thursday night's new episodes of Adult Swim original series Eagleheart (12 a.m.) ranked #1 in its time period among adults 18-34, 18-24 and among men 18-24. Compared to the same time period last year, average delivery of adults 18-24 (409,000) increased by 13% and men 18-24 (261,000) by 15%.
On Sunday nights, original series Loiter Squad (11:30 p.m.) ranked #1 in its time period among adults 18-34, 18-49 & 18-24 and men 18-34, 18-24. Average adults 18-24 delivery (463,000) grew by 6%.
Adult Swim programming accounted for 21 of the top 50 telecasts of the month on basic cable among adults 18-34 (more than any other network), and 13 of the top 50 among men 18-34, also more than any other network.
Across April 2012, Cartoon Network stood out as television's #1 network for early evening prime (7-9 p.m.) delivery of boys 2-11, 6-11 & 9-14. Compared to last year, average prime delivery gains among all kid demos increased by strong double digits - kids 6-11 (685,000) by 31%, kids 2-11 (952,000) by 19% and kids 9-14 (555,000) by 45%.
Cartoon Network ranked #1 throughout April on Monday nights among all other television networks with kids 2-11, 6-11 & 9-14 and boys 2-11, 6-11 & 9-14. Original animated comedy Regular Show (8 p.m.) was April's #1 program on Monday nights among all kids demos. Compared to last year, average kids 6-11 delivery (1,120,000) improved by 41%, kids 2-11 (1,461,000) by 40% and kids 9-14 (983,000) by 51%.
Across the month, Cartoon Network was the #1 television destination for all boys (2-11, 6-11 & 9-14) in early prime (7-9 p.m.) Monday through Friday, and on Sunday nights. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights posted double and triple-digit delivery gains among targeted kid and boy demos, ranging between 18% and 121%.
Among Cartoon Network's newest programming ventures, Ninjago (Wednesday, 8 p.m.) earned impressive triple-digit delivery gains across the board and ranked #1 across all target demos: kids 6-11 (1,420,000) increased by 203%, kids 2-11 (1,964,000) by 194% and kids 9-14 (941,000) by 210%. Immediately following, the live-action comedy-adventure series Level Up (Wednesday, 8:30 p.m.) ranked #1 in its time period throughout April among all kids and boys demos on basic cable - average kids 6-11 delivery (566,000) grew by 30%, kids 2-11 (781,000) by 26% and kids 9-14 (458,000) by 41%.
Total Day delivery averages also grew in April 2012 by double digits vs. last year's time period: overall kids 6-11 delivery (392,000) increased by 19%, kids 2-11 (586,000) by 12% and kids 9-14 (310,000) by 23%.
Saturday morning (6:30 - 11 a.m.) earned double-digit delivery gains among kids 2-11, 6-11 & 9-14 vs. last year, thanks primarily to impress performances from Thundercats (9:30 a.m.), Green Lantern (10 a.m.) and Young Justice (10:30 a.m.). Overall kids 2-11 delivery (600,000) improved by 15%, kids 6-11 (433,000) by 14% and kids 9-14 (406,000) by 34%.
truTV celebrated its youngest April ever, garnering a primetime median age of 41, three years younger than April 2011. That figure is also younger than the median ages for several of truTV's direct non-fiction competitors, including Discovery (43), A&E (46) and History (48).
Hardcore Pawn (Tuesdays 9:30 p.m.) averaged more than 2.5 million viewers in April. The breakout hit also ranked among ad-supported cable's Top 5 programs in its timeslot with key adult and male demos, displaying superb growth compared to the same timeslot last year.
Impractical Jokers (Thursdays 10 and 10:30 p.m.) laughed it up with 1.9 million viewers in April, and ranked among cable's Top 5 entertainment programs in its timeslot with adults 18-34 and key male demos. It also scored a remarkably young median age of only 32.
Operation Repo (Mondays 10 p.m.) pulled in 1.3 million viewers in April, with double-digit time-period growth among adults 18-49 and men 18-49.
The just-completed 2011-12 NBA regular season on TNT now ranks as the highest-rated and most-viewed in the network's 28-year history with the league. Coverage of the NBA on TNT averaged a 1.7 U.S. household rating, up 6% vs. last year's 1.6. TNT's NBA coverage also averaged 1,907,000 household impressions (+6% vs. 1,797,000) and 2,498,000 viewers (+4% vs. 2,397,000).
The NBA on TNT marked its fifth straight year of growth among viewers and households. TNT also televised the Top 6 NBA regular-season games on cable this season, as well as two of the Top 5 NBA regular-season games in cable television history.
NBA TV's coverage of the 2011-12 NBA regular season delivered record-setting viewership for the network. The network's 96-game regular-season schedule averaged 337,000 viewers (+33 percent vs. 253,000) and 266,000 households (+34 percent vs. 199,000), compared with the same number of telecasts last season, according to Nielsen. NBA TV is currently available in 59 million households.
Additional milestones this season include:
The most-viewed regular-season game in NBA TV history - on January 14, the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Clippers averaged 756,000 viewers to become the network's most-viewed regular-season telecast.
Six of the network's top 10 most-viewed NBA TV telecasts - Lakers/Clippers, Jan. 14; Chicago/Clippers, Dec. 30 (722,000 viewers); Clippers/Lakers, Jan. 25 (686,000 viewers), Spurs/Heat, Jan. 17 (675,000 viewers); Heat/Magic, Mar. 13 (643,000 viewers); and Thunder/Clippers, Jan. 30 (625,000 viewers).