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Lifetime Aims For Joint Demo To Raise Ratings

Lifetime is in trouble, notes an analysis of the channel in The Wall Street Journal. In need of a hit show to boost its ratings, which have shrunk almost 20 percent over the last four years, the cable network also recently weathered a fees dispute with distributor EchoStar Communications Corp. The settlement of the conflict was reportedly favorable to EchoStar because Lifetime lacked the viewer base to complain to EchoStar about its temporarily dropping Lifetime. To address the channel’s problems, it recently hired new programming staff, including Susanne Daniels, a former WB Network executive who developed "Gilmore Girls," and Jessica Samet, now overseeing reality programming for the network. New shows will include "Cheerleader Nation," a reality show set to debut next month that follows the relationships between the members of a Lexington, Ky. championship cheerleading squad and their mothers. Lifetime plans to develop programs "that a 40-something woman and an 18-something woman would have in common," says Betty Cohen, hired as chief executive last year.



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