TBS & TNT
TBS and TNT scored major victories in the ratings race for April 2014. TBS ranked as basic cable's #1 network in primetime delivery of all key adult demos, while TNT topping the charts as basic cable's #1 network in primetime among total viewers. TNT also won the race in total day delivery of adults 25-54 and came in second to TBS among adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 in primetime.
TBS's demo win in April continues the network's ratings streak. After ranking as basic cable's #1 network with adults 18-34 and adults 18-49 for all of 2013, TBS kept its winning ways going with additional demo victories for Q1 2014.
Both TBS and TNT grew their primetime audiences in April, with TBS rising by +9% and TNT increasing by +3%. The networks' nearest competitors, meanwhile, dropped by double-digit percentages. In addition to its primetime growth, TNT increased its total day audience by +2%.
TBS and TNT's success in April was driven in large part by the networks' championship sports coverage. Turner Sports and CBS Sports' exclusive presentation of the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Semifinals across TBS, TNT and truTV - with the traditional game telecast airing on TBS and team-specific coverage available via TNT and truTV for each game - averaged 14 million total viewers. The semifinals also delivered the two most-watched college basketball telecasts in cable television history: Kentucky vs. Wisconsin, which also ranked as basic cable's #1 program of the month, and Connecticut vs. Florida. Including the Regional Finals, held Saturday, March 29, TBS televised the top four most-viewed NCAA games of all time during this year's tournament.
TNT's coverage of the NBA Playoffs are showing double-digit growth compared to 2013. This year's coverage is averaging 3.8 million viewers (+19% vs. 2013 playoffs-to-date) and a 2.4 U.S. HH rating (+14%) through 15 live game telecasts. TNT's NBA Playoff telecasts have also won the night six times among men 18-34 and men 18-49, and TNT has delivered nine of the top 10 NBA Playoff telecasts on cable over the opening week of the playoffs.
In addition to the month's sports coverage, TBS drew strength from its ratings juggernaut The Big Bang Theory, which continued in April to rank as basic cable's #1 off-net sitcom on basic cable among viewers and adults 18-49. TNT's Dallas marked ratings success, as well, ranking as one of basic cable's 10 most-watched original dramas in April.
Across April 2014, Adult Swim ranked as the #1 television network on basic cable for Total Day Delivery of adults 18-24, 18-34 & 18-49 and men 18-24, 18-34, & 18-49.
New episodes of Adult Swim's original animated primetime series Rick and Morty (Monday, 10:30 p.m.) grew average delivery of adults 18-34 & 18-49 and all targeted men vs. the same time period last year, ranging between 5% and 35%. Off-network new episode premieres of The Cleveland Show (9:30 p.m.) and Family Guy (10 p.m.) both grew average deliveries of targeted adults and men by double-digits, ranging between 13% and 131%, vs. the same time period last year.
Crowning Adult Swim's April performance, the season 4 premiere of The Boondocks scored as the network's most-watched primetime telecast in five years among adults 18-34, 18-49 & 18-24; the most-watched original series premiere in the last six years among all targeted adults; and the most-watched telecast in 2014 to date across young adults 18-24. Compared to the same time period last year, The Boondocks earned across-the-board ratings and delivery growth ranging between 75% and 96%. Overall, The Boondocks attracted nearly three million viewers 2+, representing a 58% increase vs. last year's time period.
As part of Adult Swim's Saturday night TOONAMI block of anime programming, One Piece (1 a.m.), Blue Exorcist (1:30 a.m.), and Black Lagoon (2 a.m.) each ranked #1 in their respective time periods among adults 18-24 & 18-34. Blue Exorcist and Black Lagoon grew year-over-year among adults 18-34 & 18-49 and men 18-34 & 18-49, while One Piece grew delivery of men 18-34 & 18-49.
Adult Swim programming - including Family Guy, The Boondocks, American Dad and Robot Chicken - accounted for 22 of the top 50 telecasts in April on basic cable among adults 18-34, and 19 of the top 50 among men 18-34, both more than any other network.
Across April 2014, Cartoon Network ranked as television's #1 network for Early Prime (6-8 p.m.) delivery of boys 9-14. Early Prime in April also increased vs. the March 2014 performance among kids 2-11 and kids 6-11 by 3%.
On the strength of its original animated programming, Cartoon Network scored as the #1 television network among all targeted boys on Monday Night (6-8 p.m.), earning average delivery growth across all targeted kids and boys demos vs. the same time period last year, ranging between 3% and 10%.
Among the Monday highlights in April, the season 6 premiere of the award-winning Adventure Time (April 21, 6 p.m.) ranked as the #1 telecast of the month among boys 2-11 & 9-14, earning triple-digit growth across all targeted kids and boy demos, ranging between 107% and 164%. Additionally, the April 14 new episode premiere of Regular Show (6:30 p.m.) charted the #1 telecast of the month among boys 6-11. The Emmy-winning series also ranked #1 in its time period across April among kids 9-14 and all targeted boys, with new episode premieres earning double-digit growth across the board, between 67% and 95%. Finally, new original series Clarence (7 p.m.) scored as the #1 program on Mondays among kids 6-11 and all targeted boys, #1 in its time period among kids and boys, and grew by double digits across all targeted demos vs. the same time period last year, between 40% and 65%.
On Wednesday nights in April, Cartoon Network ranked as the #1 destination on all television among boys 9-14 in Early Prime (6-8 p.m.), earning delivery gains across all kids 2-11 & 6-11 and boys 2-11 & 6-11 vs. last year, between 5% and 14%. New premiere episodes of The Tom and Jerry Show (5:30 p.m.) grew among kids 2-11 and boys 2-11 & 6-11 between 3% and 8%. Teen Titans Go! ranked #1 in its 6 p.m. time period among boys 6-11 & 9-14, with premiere episodes growing by mostly double-digits across all targeted kids and boys - between 9% and 33%.
Rounding out the week in April, Cartoon Network also ranked as the #1 television network (broadcast & cable) among boys 9-14 on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday Nights (6-8 p.m.).
On Saturday mornings, new episode premieres of Pokémon The Series XY (8:30 a.m.) ranked #1 in its time period among boys 9-14. Similarly, Legends of Chima (9:30 a.m.) grew average delivery of kids 2-11 & 9-14 and boys 6-11 & 9-14, ranging between 2% and 38%, vs. the same time period last year.
Through the opening week of the NBA Playoffs, NBA TV's three originally produced game telecasts averaged 589,000 total viewers for an increase of +48% compared with the network's first three playoff telecasts last year. NBA TV's telecast of Game 3 between the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks averaged 757,000 total viewers and peaked with more than 1.3 million total viewers from 9:15-9:30 p.m. The Pacers/Hawks telecast ranked #1 among men 18-34 and men 18-49 across all NBA TV programming for 2014-to-date.