Six months ago, Lifetime launched Broad Focus, a major initiative to have more women writing, directing, developing and producing content for the network.
It’s too soon to say what kind of impact the initiative is having, but the ratings successes of TV movies by female directors certainly suggests it’s a step in the right direction, both creatively and financially.
Lifetime’s five most popular original movies in 2015 have all been directed by women: Alex Kalymnios’s “Cleveland Abduction,” Angela Bassett’s “Whitney,” Rachel Goldenberg’s “A Deadly Adoption,” Vanessa Parise’s “Perfect High” and Nzingha Stewart’s “With This Ring.” Even better, these five movies are the top five original movies in ad-supported cable among women 25-49. A sixth Lifetime movie, Nancy Savoca’s “If There Be Thorns,” made the top 10 in that prized demographic as well.
“Whitney,” the result of Bassett’s first time behind the camera, ended up being the #1 movie on ad-supported cable and the #1 movie on television as a whole among women.
Lifetime has struck ratings gold by betting on women. It’s time for the rest of Hollywood to catch up.