Is Disney Channel's schedule the reason why DC is developing a ratings drain?

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Cartoon Ruler

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One of the reasons I could think of Disney Channel getting a ratings collapse is because of its schedule. Every day you'll see at least 3 hours of each of the live action: Jessie, Dog With a Blog, Good Luck Charlie, Austin & Ally and Liv & Maddie.

Now I don't think the live action isn't that bad (but still cheesy), but I'm assuming others hate these shows mentioned above because they get so overplayed. DC plays the same shows with the same episodes every day that it's gotten to the point where the reruns barely reach 2M on a daily basis (being beating by SpongeBob and recently Sam & Cat).

I barely watch DC nowadays (except Wander Over Yonder, Gravity Falls, the Mickey Mouse shorts and the occasional Good Luck Charlie (yes, I actually watch that)), but based from I've seen, the cartoons gets no treatment on the schedule. Fish Hooks and even the popular Phineas & Ferb are push into the graveyard hours, WoY has slightly decreased in reruns and you'll see GF once or twice a month if ore lucky. Even the Disney XD block contains no animation, just reruns of Kickin' It and Lab Rats. This isn't the first time DC has done this, it screwed up The Replacements by putting it on a early afternoon slot for new episodes in exchange of more tweeny-bopper live action trash.

Does everyone think it's time for Disney Channel to clean up its schedule and diversified it? Give more time to the cartoons in the schedule, perhaps? Acquire more shows for more variety? Maybe even consider adding the older shows during non-peaking hours?
 
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Tommy Lawson

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Overplaying anything will probably lead to lower ratings. The problem with diversifying the lineup is that it takes time to do so, and there simply isn't going to be a quick fix at the moment for the network. They're just going to have to deal with a rebounding Nickelodeon right now. Still, I feel Disney Channel should branch out in programming choices, and get some new shows, shows that aren't just more live-action sitcoms, since viewer fatigue does become a problem over time.

However, I also feel that being too reactive is also a problem for Disney, as that would shake the confidence of investors. I saw one post in the Nick ratings thread predicting Disney is going to cancel their new shows quickly, because that's what Nickelodeon did. I can't see Disney doing the exact same thing, because Disney is usually meticulous when ordering their pilots to series. They don't seem to be a company that quits that quickly, since they already picked up Girl Meets World for 21 episodes.

Still, the odd part of this whole "The Disney Channel ship is sinking" mentality is that Disney still had 8 of the Top 10 shows in Kids 6-11 last week, and looking at last week's Cynopsis Kids ratings data, it's not like everybody just stopped watching the channel entirely. I still haven't seen the major trade publications indicate this is a problem for Disney. Disney's press releases might be less prideful and boastful on Tuesdays each week, but I'm skeptical it's really going to do much to their bottom line.

As for Disney XD, that's ad-supported, and I saw ratings numbers showing it being competitive with Cartoon Network recently. That probably explains the heavy presence of live-action, because it's becoming a bigger draw than the more widely available CN.
 

ToonJay723

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Now I don't think the live action isn't that bad (but still cheesy), but I'm assuming others hate these shows mentioned above because they get so overplayed. DC plays the same shows with the same episodes every day that it's gotten to the point where the reruns barely reach 2M on a daily basis (being beating by SpongeBob and recently Sam & Cat).
Yeah, there was this one time that every single day they aired Austin & Ally, it was always "Chapters & Choices". That show has 45+ episodes, It should have been at least 9 weeks before they showed the same episode again.

Also, I think the reason why Phineas & Ferb and Wander Over Yonder are doing poorly is because they're lumped up with Disney's worst shows (Dog with a Blog, Jessie, A.N.T. Farm and Fish Hooks). This is why I think Disney shows air some shows on Saturday nights, so all the bad shows won't get lumped into one night causing low viewership for the good shows that air on the same night.
 

rockorockorocko

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I think Disney is clearly the top network in K6-11 and K9-14 and a "collapse" is something projected. But for a year now, Disney has trended down in ratings, just look at the JaNEWary event year to year. Kind of an alarming drop to have all shows hitting at least 3.5M, to having all nine premieres in a week under 3.0M. Plus, Disney has/will lose some key shows (SIU/GLC/AF) and the new ones (WOY/LaM/IDDI) have not been on par with the shows they are replacing and are vulnerable. On top of that, PaF/FH, which have hit major ratings slumps are on final seasons and other shows in limbo like Jessie and AaA seem to be losing steam, have not been renewed and in the Disney death zone third seasons. It's not a good sign that AaA is now airing at 9 p.m. Sunday nights. Basically that's where SIU was kept as it aired out. By virtue of Disney airing more live action and Nick airing more cartoons, Disney will likely keep their higher demos for now, but it'll be a game changer when more of their current shows are no longer on air.

Tommy brings up a great point, Disney is really careful on what they green light, so im sure Disney does have hits in the making as they adjust, but right now there's nothing in the works. GMW will probably premiere in the summer and help a lot, there's Star and the a Forces of a Evil, which may be the only Disney cartoon aside from GF. And supposedly the SIU girl had a pilot... But nothing groundbreaking IMO.

I think aside from viewer fatigue, all the Disney shows are pretty generic. Yeah, there some differences here and there, but you can swap many of the actors and story lines. In fact, there won't be any black main characters on Disney shows now that SIU and AF will be done. Basically white families and leads. Not sure if that means anythig, but I think Disney drove his tween sitcom thing too hard, much like Nick did with theirs.

Final thought, similar to iCarly, BTR, and Victorious on Nick, their viewership remained loyal to an extent, but many must've grown out of these shows (all on air quite long) and considering them being older by the end, probably stopped watching Nick all together when these shows finished. Probably the same thing happening where Disney audience is maturing and leaving the network all together when their shows end. Imagine if Jessie and Austin and Ally get cancelled, the core Disney shows for the last four years will be gone.

Nick went thru a dry spell where lazy everything caused them to enter their ratings collapse and because they tried doin too much of the same thing, it took awhile for them to recover. But that involved them completely redoing their lineup and diversifying their programs. Each show has its own voice or uniqueness, which I think has definitely helped Nick get viewership again.

This could just be a hiccup for Disney and things could change for the better, but it's pretty clear where things are heading unless that happens.
 

rockorockorocko

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Yeah, there was this one time that every single day they aired Austin & Ally, it was always "Chapters & Choices". That show has 45+ episodes, It should have been at least 9 weeks before they showed the same episode again.

Also, I think the reason why Phineas & Ferb and Wander Over Yonder are doing poorly is because they're lumped up with Disney's worst shows (Dog with a Blog, Jessie, A.N.T. Farm and Fish Hooks). This is why I think Disney shows air some shows on Saturday nights, so all the bad shows won't get lumped into one night causing low viewership for the good shows that air on the same night.
Well, the problem is that never stopped Friday nights before. Many times Friday night would do just as well as Sunday, with basically the same shows you mentioned, it's just ratings are down across the board for Disney. The real culprit might be WOY, which consistently drops big after Disney's 8:30pm airing. I noticed Disney pulled PaF and WOY premieres this month, likely to regroup and figure out what to do. Saturday nights aren't viable anymore now that nicks lineup seems to have found its groove. Disney should considering airing weekend mornings, but truthfully, Nick has those times on lockdown and if a Tmnt/KFP do well Sunday mornings, Disney will be blocked out. Their animation can't compete with Nick head to head, except for GF.
 

CoolEric158

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No no, they don't air it 99% of the time; they air it 95% of the time. It's still pathetic, but there's some improvement.

Either way, I wouldn't say overplay is the main issue, although it is somewhat, as other networks seem to be doing fine with playing the same shows often. (i.e. CN's Adventure Time and Regular Show, Nick's Spongebob and...whatever live action sitcom they have, and Hub's MLP, Pound Puppies, and Littlest Pet Shop) The main issue is that the replacements haven't been doing all that well. After GLC and SiU's endings, Disney tried to replace them with Wander Over Yonder, Liv and Maddie and Dog with a Blog, and neither are doing that well at all, and now Jessie and Austin and Ally are in limbo, and it's still unknown if either will get another season. And there's the fact that Disney...doesn't have that much focus on television cartoons; because Disney has several animation studios dedicated to films that garner more success than a cable network program. Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network on the other hand have a heavier focus on cartoons due to creating less movies, and their parent companies don't have a strong film animation company, since Paramount lost Dreamworks, and Hub Network needs their cartoons mainly to promote their toylines for their many brands. Now things could change with Girl Meets World and Star and the Forces of Evil, but as of now, viewer fatigue and weaker series will be an issue for the Mouse House for the time being.
 

ILDC

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You know, when the Hub Network was first launched, I actually thought Hasbro was trying to become a more Disney-like company, not necessarily relying on toys. Guess I was a fool.

Now, to get back on topic, why exactly are people saying WoY is underperforming already? I would say it's because you'd expect a Craig McCracken show to do better, but they haven't really been playing up his involvement. The ads make it look like just another hyperactive random cartoon, with little to stand out.
 

Cartoon Ruler

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Now, to get back on topic, why exactly are people saying WoY is underperforming already? I would say it's because you'd expect a Craig McCracken show to do better, but they haven't really been playing up his involvement. The ads make it look like just another hyperactive random cartoon, with little to stand out.
Sanjay & Craig, Fanboy & Chum Chum and Adventure Time, say hi.

I've seen Wander Over Yonder before. It's actually a decent cartoon. If those three mentioned above had done/are doing well with a "hyperactive random" theme, so can WoY. It has potential. Part of the problem of WoY's low ratings is that, like LegoFan pointed out, it's being squashed between Disney's lame kidcoms and also the lack of repeats. If you take a close look at DC's schedule right now, you'll see 1.5 upcoming airings of WoY (in a death zone) for the next two weeks. It's pathetic, which is why I never understood DC's problem with its cartoons.

Rescheulin' the Schedule: Disney Channel

Here's my post entry on my blog about my bargain about DC's schedule. We're not allowed to post fantasy schedules in here, which is why I posted a nifty fantasy DC schedule myself.
 

09MurphyM

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I thought I was the only one who noticed that the schedule for Disney channel has the live action shows airing twelve times a day while the cartoons get barely any time to air?
 

Toon4Thought

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Wander Over Yonder's little airtime hasn't really bothered me, since most of the episodes can be found On Demand at any given point anyway (at least, as it stands right now).

Gravity Falls deserves better than the wonky scheduling it's been getting for a while. I keep going on about how overlooked it is, and all this is not doing the ratings any favors. I mean, it's still nothing compared to what Nickelodeon did around 2010-2012 (at least all of the episodes actually get rerun - with one exception, but it's holiday-related anyway), but a little consistency shouldn't be too much to ask for.

For Phineas and Ferb, it seems 80% of the airings are on Disney XD now. Yeah... given how popular it's been, giving it the shaft in the main network makes no sense whatsoever. I mean, I know it's popularity is slipping just a bit, but even with that, I still think it gets more viewership than most, if not all, of the live-action shows. So why banish your most popular show?

I think they're just trying too hard to find an audience for the live action shows, since Good Luck Charlie is getting canned.
 

hobbyfan

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Disney's always had the problem of overplaying "hot" shows to death, be they live-action or animated. Remember That's So Raven? DC played that to death, just as they're doing now with the current crop of sitcoms. Should there be a little more equality between live-action & animation on the schedule? Absolutely. However, they still are doing a Disney Jr. morning block that now acts as a means to call attention to the DJ channel, the way CN used to do a Boomerang block on the weekends to give viewers a peek at Da Boom when they couldn't get that channel.

Nick & CN are no different in playing shows into the ground. Nick's been doing it for more than 20 years.
 

Tommy Lawson

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I think the schedule has something to do with the current Disney Channel slump in the ratings. One can only play so many episodes of a show before viewer fatigue sets in, which is exactly what appears to be happening, as DC's lead over Nickelodeon has shrunk to single digits: 6%, in the target demographic of DC: Kids 6-11.
 

hobbyfan

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They have enough in the vaults such that they don't have to play current shows into the ground, and keep the ones that don't have enough episodes aired confined to a weekly schedule. (i.e Dog With a Blog, Lab Rats)
 

DonkeyKongSong

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Yeah, that's one thing about Disney: While I've often praised them for giving each of their shows equal attention, giving the premieres high ratings and a great track record for successes or at least lack of one season wonders or cancellations, at the same time there's a disadvantage for the total day viewers: They air all their current shows many times a day, and while it helps that they're not throwing the same show onto 70% of their schedule, like a current network with an orange logo is doing with a certain yellow sponge (hint hint), that can quickly lead to viewer fatigue for all of them. One advantage of Nick's spamming of the yellow one is the other shows don't suffer that kind of fatigue.

Cartoon Network seems to be doing the best with schedule variety, and while it's not anywhere near as great as it was before 2009, since they do often overplay shows too, at the same time they occasionally air classics (they've brought Ed, Edd, 'n' Eddy and Kids Next Door back to their schedule a few times) and acquired shows (even if it's mostly Canadian flash cartoons and toy-marketed anime).

I too wish Disney would do the same, but since mid-2010 they don't really seem too interested in airing anything on the main network that pre-dated The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (Throwback Thursday aside) and all their acquired shows just go to Disney XD (aside from foreign supernatural-themed shows they air around Halloween). I still remember when around the holidays they'd still air the Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens holiday episodes despite them being off the lineup (Cartoon Network still does so with shows that haven't aired in months or years, e.g. Foster's Home). Who knows, it might help.

One thing I will give them thumbs up for in their scheduling tastes is movies though. They seem to be airing a wide variety of movies several times on their schedule. Pre-High School Musical DCOMs seem to be relegated to the graveyard hours (again, holidays aside), but they've done a good job with those. If not older series, maybe they should air more movies. They always seem to be airing theatrical ones dating back to God knows when, acquired ones, and recent DCOMs.
 

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This is the first year I watched Disney Channel frequently since 2006 mostly because of Big City Greens, Amphibia, Ducktales, and Miraculous.

The teaser is good. The comments saying "Release The Snyder Cut" are not.
Is the concept of good scheduling just dead at this point, I'm looking at PlutoTv and most of the time they just got the same show on repeat.