Lifetime triumphed on Sunday night (July 15) with the premiere of its full three-hour block of new dramas; the series premieres of Side Order of Life and State of Mind and a new episode of its hit drama Army Wives averaged 2.3 million total viewers from 8 to 11 p.m., the biggest cable audience for that time period, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Side Order, the Jinks/Cohen dramedy starring Marisa Coughlin and Jason Priestly, averaged 2.4 million viewers at 8 p.m. and State of Mind, the Shephard/Robin drama starring Lili Taylor, averaged 2.3 million at 9 p.m. The new Army Wives episode averaged 3.7 million at 10 p.m.
Lifetime took a big gamble in slating the three new shows together on one night, aiming, in a cable landscape crowded with originals, to stake out its network as the singular destination for female viewers on Sundays. Army premiered to record numbers last month and has held strong since then, giving prime lead-in slots for the other two.
For the night, Lifetime was first in basic cable with women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, in addition to total viewers. The Army Wives episode beat CBS, NBC and ABC with women 18-49 at 10 p.m.
Also scoring on Sunday was the premiere of Discovery Channel's two-hour special, Secrets of Egypt's Lost Queen. The show was the night's most-viewed program among adults 25-54, with an average 1.55 million tuning in between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. It averaged 3.30 million total viewers.
Disney ranked as the most-viewed cable network for the week ending July 15, with an average 3.18 million total viewers during prime. It was followed by USA with 2.65 million, TNT with 2.31 million and ESPN with 1.75 million and Lifetime with 1.61 million.
Elsewhere in summer cable originals, TNT’s The Closer continues to shine – this week’s episode on July 9 was the week’s most-viewed cable show with an average 7.41 million total viewers at 9 p.m. ESPN’s Home Run Derby baseball game was second, averaging 6.78 million viewers from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on July 9, and Nextel racing on TNT took third, averaging 6.37 million total viewers from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. July 15.