DECEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:
* Bold denotes programming change
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.
PROJECT RUNWAY was a key asset for Lifetime. A network known for movies since the beginning, now has come to expect high quality entertainment scripted shows. Unscripted shows however, have always been a challenge for them because it's not part of their brand expectation. RUNWAY a top competition show enabled them to branch out and acquire new reality shows and use RUNWAY as a launching pad for new programs.
DECEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / December 2010 vs. December 2009 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
Compared to December 2009, Lifetime's overall prime time averages were down. Share fell flat and delivery was down -1%, respectively. However, Women 18-49 and 25-54 share were up +11% and +12%. Monday nights popped this month from a year ago, with share skyrocketing up +113% with movies. In fact, the prime MOVIE was up +50% share, and the Saturday and Sunday movies were up +21% and +31% from one year ago.
Lifetime's prime time monthly average for ratings, share and demo delivery were up this month compared to last month. Overall share was up +50% and delivery was up +45%, respectively. PAWN STARS which is a History Channel show, had a quick stint in December on Lifetime. No doubt due to the same ownership and Nancy Dubuc taking over the reins at the all women channel, the synergy between the sister networks may be more apparent in the coming year. In any case, it was a success for Lifetime, and some new programming to revive the prime time line-up.
REBA had a more limited run this month, and was basically preceding PAWN STARS. Good thing too, since REBA was up +13% share this month, this change made a difference. WIFE SWAP was off the schedule this month, as it too was replaced by PAWN STARS.
The Prime, Saturday and Sunday MOVIE were all up considerably this month. Share alone was up +50%, +21%, +31% - a huge difference from last month's numbers. Lots of made for originals and feel good Christmas themed titles made a big impact with viewers this month.
Once again Lifetime did some juggling with their prime time schedule and finally for the better. Once again we can hopefully say that the tide is changing at this network as new life is being pumped back into it, and come February will be a chock full of new series premieres. It will be interesting in the months to come to see how Lifetime changes their image a bit in the marketplace. They will need to enforce their position yet again to create a more contemporary and competitive edge to compete in, today's already crowded cable television environment.
CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:
Lifetime is aggressively expanding its drama series development plate bringing scripted strategy to the forefront. Lifetime intends on ordering additional pilots and scripted series programs.
Production is underway for three Lifetime drama pilots: Against the Wall, Exit 19 and an untitled Josh Berman project starring Sherry Stringfield and Jamie-Lynn Sigler. Lifetime also has six non-scripted shows in the works and is considering original programming for daytime as well.
Nancy Dubuc, Lifetime's new GM has every intention of bringing back the brand to number one in the ratings - lots of research and investing in originals. Women are the biggest consumer group in the country, and the network has built a brand reaching the average woman.
In addition, Lifetime will not back away from unscripted programming as they are also looking for more series like DIVA, shows that have a sense of humor, and programming fare that has a lighter, escapist attitude.