Military move pays off for Lifetime


Lifetime Television is celebrating big ratings for season two of its drama series, “Army Wives.” Episode two on Sunday drew just shy of two million Women 25-54 – an all-time record for the female-focused cable net. Total viewership of 4.2 million 2+ was also up from the 3.5 million who saw the premiere.

"These strong second episode ratings clearly demonstrates the passion and commitment our viewers feel towards ‘Army Wives.’ That loyalty, along with the creativity of the series, from the writing and acting to the directing, has made ‘Army Wives’ into one of those rare television series – must-see, appointment viewing – that we hope will carry us through all 19 episodes, right through the summer and fall," said Susanne Daniels, President, Entertainment, Lifetime Networks.

During its Sunday, June 15 airing, the show scored a 3.5 Household rating and was watched by 3.2 million Women 18+, based on Nielsen data.

Lifetime is also calling it a “true cross-platform hit.” In 10 days, streaming of full episodes at was almost 12 times greater (1,192%) than for the same period last year. Page views were up 46% year-to-year over that same period.

RBR/TVBR observation: I’m John McCain and I approve of this series. I’m Barack Obama and I approve of this series. Take your pick. Taking advantage of the political year, Lifetime got both candidates to record video messages saying nice things about the series and directing people to a Lifetime website to get information on how to donate to organizations that help military families. Clever move. It is pretty unusual for a series to have more buzz and dramatically higher ratings for its second season. “Army Wives” did well for Lifetime in season one, but it is looking like a cable blockbuster for the new season.