Lifetime Analysis - November 2010

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NOVEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

* Bold denotes programming change

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

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.

NOVEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / November 2010 vs. November 2009  (% Change)

HH

M25-54

W25-54

P25-54

Monday 8-11pm

60%

50%

67%

75%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-14%

33%

-11%

0%

Wednesday 8-11pm

0%

0%

0%

0%

Thursday 8-11pm

-56%

-57%

-64%

-60%

Friday 8-11pm

67%

67%

63%

50%

Saturday 8-11pm

0%

-38%

5%

-7%

Sunday 8-11pm

-7%

0%

0%

0%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-9%

-20%

-8%

-11%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Compared to November 2009, Lifetime's overall primetime averages were down.  Share was down - 9% and delivery was down -7%, respectively.  Women 18-49 and 25-54 were down as well.  Overall delivery was up significantly for Monday and Friday nights however by as much as +59% and +63%; thanks to MOVIES and REBA.  However, MOVIES were down overall in all key demos from one year ago.

Lifetime's primetime monthly average for ratings, share and demo delivery were down this month compared to last month.  Overall share was down -9% and delivery was down -6%, respectively.  REBA continued to be the solid lead-in choice to the primetime MOVIE.  REBA rebounded this month and was up +9% in overall delivery.  The prime MOVIE was up +25% share with a mix of originals on Monday nights as well theatricals on Wednesday and Thursday nights this month.  Last month, Lifetime went back to their strategy of airing original/comedy movies on Monday nights instead of comedy series, but this month, that strategy faded.   Tuesday nights were REBA and a double stack of WIFE SWAP once again.  WIFE SWAP was up +20% share.

PROJECT RUNWAY was not on the schedule and the season finale of ON THE ROAD WITH AUSTIN & SANTINO was down significantly.  It was replaced with newcomer THE FAIRY JOBMOTHER which had a sneak preview in October, and took over the Thursday night 10pm-11pm timeslot.   This new reality series with an 8-episode order was originally based on the British format. 

FAIRY JOBMOTHER hosted by  Haley Taylor, assists severely job-challenged families and trys to motivate them back on track. FAIRY JOBMOTHER complements Lifetime's unscripted strategy to further strengthen the success they have had among women on Thursday evenings.

The weekend block continued this month with MOVIES.  Both the Saturday and Sunday MOVIE were up this month +30% and +3%, respectively.  Thanks to a mix of solid theatrical titles and MOW's with holiday themes to it helped out the weekend block this month.

Once again Lifetime did some juggling with their primetime schedule this month.  And even though ratings were generally down, there was a new series premiere and reruns of well rated movies, in addition to all the competition being that it was a Sweeps month.  There were no specials to report on.  A couple of months back it seemed that the tide was changing at this network as new life was pumped back into it.  Hopefully with an aggressive programming slate for 2011 things will change around a bit for the future.  Once the highest rated female targeted cable network out there, Lifetime is in desperate need of changing their position and 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.

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