JANUARY 2011 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.
JANUARY 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / January 2011 vs. January 2010 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
Compared to January 2010, Lifetime's overall prime time averages were down. Share was down -14% and delivery was down -17%, respectively. Women 18-49 and 25-54 share were also down overall. Monday nights popped this month from a year ago, with share skyrocketing up +50% due mainly to original movies. In fact, the prime MOVIE was up +8%, and up +17% with Women 25-54 share from one year ago.
Lifetime's prime time monthly average for ratings, share and demo delivery were down this month compared to last month. Overall share and delivery were down -20% and -21%, respectively. There were no new original series premieres or midseason replacements, but there was one shining star for the month and that was the premiere of the Lifetime original movie THE CRAIGSLIST KILLER. It marked as Lifetime's fifth most-watch movie premiere ever and drew 1.7 million viewers among adults 18-34 demo.
History Channel's PAWN STARS which had a quick stint last month on the channel was taken off the schedule this month and replaced by regular programming of REBA leading into movies. REBA was down this month overall. WIFE SWAP also returned to its Tuesday night line-up and was up +18% in delivery overall.
The Prime MOVIE was up +17% with Women 18-49 share and was a combination of made for originals and theatricals. The Saturday and Sunday MOVIE were down this month. Some titles noteworthy of mentioning for the month were The Nanny Diaries, Picture Perfect, Erin Brockovich, Coyote Ugly and Sister Act 2. All solid titles, although they have been repeated, due incorporate top "A" list female Hollywood talent.
Once again Lifetime did some juggling with their prime time schedule, but not enough to make an impact. Ratings were down overall and the network is desperate for some fresh new programming. Hopefully, February with its chock full of new series premieres should change it up a bit. It will be interesting in the months to come to see how Lifetime changes their image 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.
Exec Nancy Dubuc is putting her stamp on Lifetime's scripted programming lineup, ordering two character-based detective dramas - EXIT 19 and AGAINST THE WALL the first scripted skein ordered by Dubuc since she took over the cabler last year, doubling Lifetime's series slate to four. This is in addition to Lifetime's commitment for 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.