Lifetime Scores with Fantasia Bio-Flick

Fantasia Barrino is Lifetime Television’s biggest idol.

The distaff network’s Aug. 19 original movie about the American Idol winner’s life was the second-most-watched flick in Lifetime’s history with 6.6 million viewers. Lifetime’s 1995 original, Almost Golden, averaged more than 7 million viewers

The Fantasia Barrino Story: Life Is Not a Fairy Tale generated a 5.0 Nielsen Media Research household rating, finishing as the second-highest ad-supported basic-cable show for the week behind the 5.6 rating for TNT’s Aug. 14 episode of The Closer. Lifetime’s next-day encore of the movie averaged a 4.0 rating, finishing in seventh place for the week.

Overall, more than 19 million viewers tuned into the movie, which tells Barrino’s rags-to-riches story. Also, among all original 2006 basic-cable-movie premieres, Fantasia ranked first in ratings among women 18-34 and women 18-49, according to Lifetime.

The movie also helped to increase Internet traffic to the network's Web site ( Traffic surged more than 70% in page views and 68% in unique visitors last weekend compared with the previous weekend.

Along with information from the film, is running a Fantasia essay contest through Sept. 16. The winner will receive two tickets to the 2007 American Idol season finale, according to the network.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.