The Lifetime Network

Essays on “Television for Women” in the 21st Century


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About the Book

For more than 30 years, Lifetime has aired a broad range of programming, including original movies, sitcoms, dramas and reality shows. As other networks dedicated to women have come and gone, Lifetime continues to thrive in an ever-expanding cable marketplace, exploring such sensitive topics as race, commercialism, eating disorders, rape and domestic violence.
This collection of new essays is the first to focus on Lifetime and the programs that helped define the network’s brand that appeals to both viewers and advertisers. Series like Project Runway, Girlfriend Intervention and Army Wives are explored in depth. The contributors discuss the network’s large opus of original films, as well at its online presence.

About the Author(s)

Emily L. Newman is associate professor of art history at Texas A&M University-Commerce, specializing in contemporary art, popular culture, and gender studies. She lives in McKinney, Texas.
Emily Witsell is research librarian and coordinator of reference and instruction at Wofford College. She lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Emily L. Newman and Emily Witsell
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9830-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2459-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction (Emily L. Newman and Emily Witsell) 1
Part I: Reality and Internet Programming
“What did we teach you?” Racialized Sisterhood in Girlfriend Intervention (Shelby L. Crosby and Susannah Bartlow) 21
“You too can make your own Lifetime movie”: Branded Labor via Lifetime’s Movie ­Mash-Ups (Lindsay Giggey) 37
“One day you’re in and the next day you’re out”: Making Project Runway Work from Bravo to Lifetime (Emily Witsell) 54
Part II: Original Episodic Programming
Feminizing Militainment: Post/Post-Politics on Army Wives (Mary Douglas Vavrus) 75
“In Extremis”: Unnatural Selection in Lifetime’s Speculative Fictions (Lisa K. Perdigao) 95
Part III: Original Movies
“She needs some food”: Eating Disorders, Lifetime and the ­Made-for-TV Movie (Emily L. Newman) 119
“Your Life. Your Time”: Addressing a Fractured Audience through Docudrama (Staci Stutsman) 136
Subversion of the Final Girl in Rape Revenge Narratives and the Normalization of Violence Against Women in The Tenth Circle and The Assault (Jenny Platz) 151
Conclusion—Lifetime at Thirty: Leading the Way for Women and Television (Emily L. Newman) 171
Bibliography 193
About the Contributors 197
Index 199