Lifetime Spins Off Reality

Lifetime Television will take a major leap into reality this summer when it launches a second, genre-based spinoff network, as well as a second night of originals rooted in that programming format.

Set to bow in late July, the ad-supported Lifetime Real Women will feature a combination of new and returning original series — including the profile series Intimate Portraits, The Things We Do For Love
and Unsolved Mysteries
— and true-story based films.

The debut of Lifetime Real Women, slated for late July, will coincide with the launch of the parent network's Saturday-night original programming slate.

The network's dramatic trio of Strong Medicine
, Any Day Now
and The Division
on Sunday nights have helped propel it to the top of the ratings charts in primetime during the first quarter and in April.

The channel's "Real Women" block on Saturdays will start Aug. 4, with the new original skein Women Docs
(a profile of heroic female physicians) and returning Melissa Etheridge series, Beyond Chance, which relates compelling stories that stem from coincidences and twists of fate.

Those shows, both of which will appear on the new network, will be joined by a third series in January, according to executive vice president of programming Dawn Tarnofsky-Ostroff.

Executive vice president of distribution and business development Louise Henry Bryson and her staff began pitching Lifetime Real Women network in April, following eight months of development and focus-group testing.

Tarnofsky-Ostroff said reality was second only to movies among programming genres on Lifetime, so Lifetime Real Women was a natural brand extension for the women's network.

Lifetime Movie Network, which bowed in July 1998 and now counts some 14 million subscribers, posted a 0.6 average in primetime during April and March, according to Nielsen Media Research.