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Unique viewing ‘hooks’ make Lifetime shows distinctive

/ 12:35 AM July 29, 2017

“Fashion Start-Up” judges, from left: Katia Beauchamp, Gary Wassner, Rebecca Minkoff and Christine Hunsicker

TV program producers are faced with a huge problem these days: There are so many channels and shows that individual productions have a much harder time attracting and enticing viewers.

That’s why TV shows bend over backwards to be different and unique, must-see programs that they need to watch if they want to be “in.”


One of the most attention-calling purveyors of unusual programs currently on the tube is the Lifetime channel. We started watching it when we caught its “Child Genius” show, about the brightest kids in the United States in precocious and prodigious competition with one another for its highly prized crown.

Watching the rapid-fire series of quizzes, we felt humbled by the young geniuses’ phenomenal gifts, and appreciated the great example it set for other children to similarly excel at their studies.


Next, “One Born Every Minute” turned out to be about women just about to give birth in a big hospital.

Lifetime also telecasts the “Project Runway” series of productions, in all their dizzying variations—the “signature” show, its “junior” edition, and its “Under the Gunn” spinoff mentored by Tim Gunn.

Another spinoff is “Fashion Start-Up,” which helps fashion entrepreneurs get their new businesses going by “selling” their concepts to a panel of would-be investors and experts.

Additional research informs us that Lifetime also fields other unusual programs like “Wife Swap” and “The Rap Game,” a search for the most promising tween or teen “stellar rappers of tomorrow.”

The channel also dotes on shows about little people, paced by the “Little Women” production, which has become so popular that it’s spawned a number of spinoffs, set in different cities in the States, like Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas—very “Real Housewives Of…”! Another pint-sized spinoff is the “Little Weddings” show.

Finally, Lifetime has also come up with “30-Something Grandma,” which is unique in its own way, because it’s about three women who became moms at a very early age—and are now about to become grandmothers before turning 40, because their teen daughters have also gotten pregnant!

These and other Lifetime shows’ unusual viewing “hooks” make them stand out and get the TV audience curious enough to at least sample them. If they like what they see, they could become regular viewers—and their savvy producers are home free!


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TAGS: “Child Genius” show, Lifetime Channel, TV shows
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