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.
JULY 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / July 2012 vs. July 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
Lifetime rose in both the monthly and yearly ratings this July. Though the network had a handful of well performing shows, ARMY WIVES easily found the most success with viewers.
The program, now in its sixth season, remains a hit with women in both the 18-49 and 25-54 demos. Sundays, which featured the show, were the network’s most popular night of the week by a good margin. Lifetime’s top four telecasts of the month were comprised of WIVES’ four premiere episodes in July.
DROP DEAD DIVA also aired on Sunday nights to high ratings, if not quite as strong as WIVES. The show has enjoyed a sturdy fourth season and even rose by an average of 5% compared to last month.
PROJECT RUNWAY entered into its 11th season in mid JULY to find its large fan base intact. RUNWAY was the highest rated unscripted show in its Thursday timeslot among women 25-54. The show only aired two new episodes throughout the month but each performed well and earned virtually the same ratings.
Collectively, Lifetime’s original movies were one of the real winners of the month.
The network aired a slew of films, each with varying degrees of success. Original movie AN OFFICER AND A MURDERER garnered the most success. The Gary Cole starrer rated especially high among women aged 25-54, though it fared well with younger women as well. Ultimately, OFFICER proved to be the third best rated program of the month. Original films FUGITIVE AT 17 and UNSTABLE also found a sizeable audience.
The final show that could legitimately take partial credit for Lifetime’s recent rise in the ratings is DANCE MOMS. MOMS, now nearing the end of its protracted second season, wasn’t as well received as Lifetime’s most popular programs, but did earn numbers on par with movies aired on the channel.
There were a handful of shows that simply fell flat such as BRISTOL PALIN: LIFE’S A TRIPP, COMING HOME, and 7 DAYS OF SEX. While SEX was only airing reruns, PALIN and HOME each had brand new episodes that flopped majorly.