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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 / August 2012 vs. August 2011  (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Lifetime gave a very inspired showing this August, making key monthly and yearly improvements. AMRY WIVES was the big success story of the month as it continued to power through its sixth season.

Though this current season has not been the strongest iteration of the show, WIVES did bounce back in August following a disappointing July. WIVES was up a full 16% among women in both the 18 – 49 and 25 – 54 age brackets.

Unsurprisingly, Lifetime’s hit show earned the top four telecast spots for the month. Sunday nights (which featured WIVES) was easily the most watched night of the week.

DROP DEAD DIVA also featured on Sundays but did not fare quite as well WIVES. Nevertheless, DIVA served as a solid number two for the network, posting respectable numbers among women aged 25 – 54. Though DIVA did not improve upon its July ratings, its ratings remained completely unchanged.

The resurgence of DANCE MOMS also contributed to Lifetime’s good month. Following a poor July, MOMS bounced back by roughly 40% among women in key age demographics. The fact that each successive MOMS telecast for the month of August built upon previous ratings was another heartening sign for the show.

PROJECT RUNWAY, despite earning significant ratings, was not among the list of Lifetime shows to improve its monthly ratings. Despite this lack of improvement, the show’s appreciable audience is clear: Thursdays (which featured a solid primetime block of RUNWAY) were the second most watched night of the week.

Social experiment/television event THE WEEK THE WOMEN WENT most likely fell short of Lifetime executives’ more aggressive expectations. The program, which received a fair bit of hype, failed to compete with the network’s original shows and movies.