[04/14/08 - 11:07 AM]
Lifetime Networks, the Home of Basic Cable's Top Rated Original Movies and #1 New Drama for Women with 'Army Wives,' Adds 'Project Runway' to Its Reality Slate, Becoming the Only Network with Hits in Every Programming Genre for Women
Upcoming originals include projects from Kelly Preston, Queen Latifah, Candace Bushnell, Patricia Cornwell, Shirley MacLaine, Christine Ebersole, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Nora Roberts, Donald Trump and Ann Rule.

[via press release from Lifetime]

Lifetime Networks, the Home of Basic Cable's Top Rated Original Movies and #1 New Drama for Women With 'Army Wives,' Adds 'Project Runway' to Its Reality Slate, Becoming the Only Network With Hits in Every Programming Genre for Women

- 2008-09 Slate Also Features Return of "How to Look Good Naked" and the Largest Reality Development Line-Up Ever, New Foray into Comedies, Star-Studded Lifetime Original Movie Events and Lifetime Movie Network Productions -

- Marquee Projects with Kelly Preston, Queen Latifah, Candace Bushnell, Patricia Cornwell, Shirley MacLaine, Christine Ebersole, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Nora Roberts, Donald Trump and Ann Rule, Among Others -

NEW YORK, April 14 -- Leading her first upfront since becoming President and CEO last April, Andrea Wong today announced a 2008-09 schedule with dominance in every programming genre, for the first time in Lifetime Networks' 24-year history. The recent landmark deal with The Weinstein Company for the seven-time Emmy(R) Award-nominated, Peabody Award-winning "Project Runway," makes Lifetime now the home of top reality series, as well as the top drama, "Army Wives," and the top original movies for women in all of basic cable.

Further positioning Lifetime Networks as the #1 destination for women for entertainment, escape and empowerment, Lifetime also unveiled a diverse development slate in all genres, including original comedies, all with top talent in front of and behind the cameras.

In addition to season six of the watercooler hit "Project Runway" bowing on Lifetime in November 2008, season two of the successful Carson Kressley self-esteem makeover show "How to Look Good Naked" will premiere in July and be expanded to a full hour. Lifetime's foray into reality programming has helped fuel a 17-percent ratings increase among W18-34 in First Quarter.

Also returning to Lifetime on Sunday, June 8, at 10 PM (ET/PT), is the second season of the smash hit "Army Wives," which is the network's highest- rated series in its 24-year history. The robust scripted series development slate includes projects from award-winning producers, including Laura Ziskin, Paula Weinstein and Mark Gordon. For the first time in a decade, Lifetime is also in the primetime comedy business, developing a new half-hour series to join the top-rated "Reba" this fall.

Basic cable's highest rated original movies among W25-54 are also being upgraded, with more high profile Red Carpet Lifetime Original Movie Events and an impressive roster of stars such as Kelly Preston, Heather Locklear, Shirley MacLaine and Tatum O'Neal, among others. Lifetime also continues to build on its highly successful track record of adapting best-selling books into original films, with projects in development with novelists Patricia Cornwell, Candace Bushnell and John Updike. The popular Nora Roberts movie franchise will also be back with four new installments based on her best and latest books.

As it celebrates its 10th anniversary in June, Lifetime Movie Network is building great momentum. Lifetime Movie Network, the second highest-rated channel for women after Lifetime, has had seven straight months of prime and total day double-digit growth. Its first-ever miniseries, "The Capture of the Green River Killer," which premiered in March, was the highest-rated program in Lifetime Movie Network history. For 2008-09, Lifetime Movie Network is increasing both the quantity and quality of its original movie productions, with a record 18 new films planned with top auspices and actors. Projects include the adaptation of two Ann Rule crime novels.

At a lunch in midtown Manhattan, backed by her senior management team including Susanne Daniels, President, Entertainment, Wong said: "When I came to Lifetime, I was excited to see how incredibly deep and resonant our emotional connection is with women. Whether on-air, online or through our award-winning advocacy campaigns, we are now taking this powerful brand for women and evolving it to be even more relevant, aspirational, optimistic, energetic and contemporary."

Wong added, "With the infusion of great new programming and elevated multi-platform initiatives, Lifetime is now the only media company that truly offers a 360-degree experience for women. We will let women move from watching a watercooler original movie event, to joining a 'Project Runway' community at myLifetime.com, to tuning in for a new episode of 'Army Wives,' and then to playing a hot new casual game online -- all under the Lifetime banner. At the same time, we are offering our advertising, affiliate and digital partners more opportunities than ever before to partner with us and reach millions of women."

Said Daniels, "Lifetime is already the home of the top original movies for women and the top new drama for women in 'Army Wives,' and now we are adding one of the top reality series with 'Project Runway.' Dominating in these three programming genres is a hat trick for Lifetime and for women. And now we have an impressive development slate in every genre, from a who's who in the creative community, both in front of and behind the cameras. Backed by a new innovative marketing campaign, we're truly excited about the upcoming season and giving women even more of what they love to watch."

Lifetime is also investing in a major expansion of its digital initiatives, including a partnership with the Glam Network that will dramatically increase reach to women. Building on its leadership position as the only media company offering a singular branded 360-degree experience for women, the surging myLifetime.com -- up 70 percent in page views and 46 percent in unique visitors in 2007 -- will add 15 original broadband webisode series this year alone. There will also be extensive new content and community elements around "Project Runway" and other new series. Already a top 25 gaming site, myLifetime.com will add new signatures games for women such as Dressupchallenge.com, building on the tremendous success of "The My Story is Makeover" game, which has registered more than six million visits and 15 million page views since launch. In addition, throughout the year, Lifetime will continue to grow its distribution of the newly launched Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network HD channels, Lifetime On Demand and Lifetime Movie Network en Espanol On Demand.

LIFETIME is the leader in women's television and one of the top-rated basic cable television networks. A diverse, multi-media company, LIFETIME is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families. LIFETIME Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women and Lifetime Digital (including myLifetime.com) are part of LIFETIME Entertainment Services, a 50/50 joint venture of Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company.

  [april 2008]  


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