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Lifetime Analysis


Lifetime's programming strategy is now all about women having choices. Once the cable channel best known for its women in peril flicks, Lifetime has taken the dive into edgy comedies and upcoming tele-novela style melodramas.  They look for reality competition shows, game shows, scripted dramas geared to 25-54 demo.

Historically a network rooted in scripted programming, Lifetime has struck a balance between traditional dramas and spunky reality shows.  Lifetime parlayed the success of PROJECT RUNWAY into slate of unscripted programming to complement established hits such as ARMY WIVES and, more recently, THE CLIENT LIST.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / June 2012 vs. June 2011  (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Lifetime’s monthly and yearly numbers leaped up in June, earning the network an exemplary month. Lifetime was all about Sundays, which featured three of the network’s reliable heavy hitters.

ARMY WIVES only aired one telecast for the entire month but the single episode certainly made its mark. After more than a month on hiatus, WIVES returned triumphantly to secure its strongest ratings since its premiere in early March.

The sole episode guaranteed WIVES’ spot at the top of Lifetime’s highest rated programs and even more impressively scored the coveted top telecast slot among women aged 25-54.

The show continues to be more popular among women in this older age bracket, although younger women seriously added to the viewership tally as well. Overall, WIVES was up 64% among women 25-54 from last month but was down 5% from June of last year (which featured the season five finale).

DROP DEAD DIVA also featured on Sunday nights as it returned for its fourth season. DIVA underperformed all previous season premieres but still earned a good deal of viewers for the network. Even though DIVA was down 21% among women 25-54, the show remains one of Lifetime’s biggest draws. If nothing else, the show served as a dependable lead in to the network’s latest hit: THE CLIENT LIST.

THE CLIENT LIST closed out its successful debut season this month, finishing with strong numbers for its season finale. The finale had the distinction of being the most watched telecast among women 18-49. The show was also up 40% among women 25-54 from last month. As a collective unit, WIVES, CLIENT, and DIVA owned the top eight spots on the list of most watched telecasts.

Lifetime original BLUE LAGOON: THE AWAKENING also did well for the network. The remake of the original 1980 film did well by Lifetime movie standards. The show was well received by women in both the 18-49 and 25-54 age ranges.

However, success was not a universal commodity for Lifetime: BRISTOL PALIN: LIFE’S A TRIPP had a dismal debut. The show’s single telecast flopped across the board. This was a considerable blow to the network – especially when the enormous hype for the show is taken into account.

COMING HOME also suffered a disappointing month, with ratings down 73% among women 25-54, despite featuring premiere episodes.