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.
FEBRUARY 2013 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / February 2013 vs. February 2012 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
For the most part, February was a positive month for Lifetime. From a yearly standpoint, ratings were up for both women 18 – 49 and 25 – 54. Meanwhile, the month-to-month ratings among the 18 – 49 demo were unchanged while the 25 – 54 group slipped 7%.
The increased year-to-year ratings can be partially attributed to an improved performance on the part of DANCE MOMS. Compared to last year, MOMS jumped 16% among women 18 – 49 and 38% with women 25 – 54.
MOMS, a major draw for women in both key age demos, was Lifetime’s most popular show of the month. The program was also responsible for boosting Tuesday nights 29% among women compared to last year.
February was also a good month for movies on Lifetime. Along with MOMS, Lifetime’s Saturday movies dominated the network’s list of top telecasts. In order of popularity, the network’s top movies to air on Saturday were TWIST OF FAITH, PASTOR BROWN, and BETTY & CORETTA. All three Lifetime originals, which recognized black history month, served the network well. In particular, FAITH was the most viewed basic cable program for its night in primetime.
PROJECT RUNWAY, now in its eleventh season, was down overall from the previous month. In January, the show aired a single new episode (the season premiere) and aired no reruns. Due to February airing a rerun for each its four new episodes, RUNWAY’S overall ratings understandably took a month-to-month dive: 25% among women 18 – 49 and 29% among women 25 – 54. A direct comparison of premiere episodes, however, shows that the shows January premiere broadcasts were right on par with the season opener.
After an uncertain debut in January, new show DOUBLE DIVAS was able to turn things around a bit in February. The show, which aired on Tuesday nights, enjoyed a gain of 8% in both the 18 – 49 and 25 – 54 female age brackets.
The remainder of Lifetime’s schedule was largely comprised of reruns and syndicated shows. An exception to this was TEEN TROUBLE, which aired a single telecast of its season finale. The episode was ranked among Lifetime’s least viewed telecasts among women.