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Lifetime Television, often referred to as Lifetime TV, or most commonly, Lifetime, is an Americanmarker television network devoted to movies, sitcoms and dramas, all of which are either geared toward women or feature women in lead roles. The network is owned by A&E Television Networks.

History

Lifetime was established as the result of a merger of Hearst's Daytime network, established in March 1982 as a four hour per day service with women's programming and Viacom's Cable Health Network, established in June 1982 as a 24-hour service that carried health and wellness programming.

The service originally aired women's programming during the day on Monday–Saturdays, and offered the Lifetime Medical Television service on Sundays from November 1983 to June 1993 carrying programming for health professionals.

Among the most popular shows currently on the channel are Frasier, Reba, Still Standing, Will & Grace, Desperate Housewives, Medium, Wife Swap and Grey's Anatomy. The network also airs original programming such as Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva.

In addition, Lifetime airs many movies targeting to women-both original and other networks' made for television, both on the main network and on Lifetime Movie Network (launched in 1998).

Aside from women's programming, the network used to air several game shows in prime time, including Supermarket Sweep, Shop 'Til You Drop and Debt. Lifetime also produced one original game show (Who Knows You Best?, starring Gina St. John), with a format based on The Newlywed Game. It was cancelled after one season.

In April 2004, Lifetime launched Lifetime Radio for Women, a daily nationally syndicated four-hour morning block mixing adult contemporary music, live caller interaction, celebrity guests and lively discussions about the topics relating to women. In partnership with Jones Radio Networks, the service airs Monday to Friday from 5 to 9 AM or 6 to 10 AM, depending on the market.

Lifetime was a property of Lifetime Entertainment Services, which owned a number of media ventures. Viacom remained as co-owner with ABC/Capital Cities and Hearst until 1994.

Around 2005, Lifetime dropped its signature tagline Television for Women (used since 1995). The network launched a new look and tagline on July 16, 2006 with the launch of the (now-defunct) original series Angela's Eyes, using a new logo and promotions with the tagline My story is on Lifetime. In 2008 a brand new logo appeared with a brand new tagline: Connect. Play. Share..

On March 31, 2005, Betty Cohen, previously an executive at Turner Broadcasting Services, was named CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services according to the Walt Disney Company.

Lifetime's main competitors as "women's channels" are the Oxygen Network and WE: Women's Entertainment, although both of those services have substantially lower ratings than the spin off Lifetime Movie Network, much less Lifetime itself.

Because of the obvious feminine slant to the network's programming, Lifetime is often jokingly referred to as The Estrogen Channel, and some criticize the network's over-reliance on formulaic made for TV movies, including the "women in jeopardy" or "woman scorned" theme common on films produced by the network, archived product which aired on the major networks in the 1980's and 1990's, and outside producers airing their work on the network. Other comedy programs have satirized Lifetime's sometimes sentimental programming. Family Guy once parodied their slogan, making it Lifetime: Television for Idiots, and in an episode had one of the main characters make a Lifetime-like film which oversimplified those themes.

On August 27, 2009, A&E Television Networks, the owner of A&E Network, acquired Lifetime Entertainment Services.

Programming

See also



References

  1. Betty Cohen Named President and CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services, Disney.com, March 31, 2005
  2. A&E Acquires Lifetime, Variety.com, August 27, 2009
  3. A&E Networks, Lifetime Merger Completed, Broadcasting & Cable, August 27, 2009


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