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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.