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Bravo vs. Lifetime

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Both were built in the ’80s, but Bravo and Lifetime have since carved out distinct identities. Here, a brief history.

Bravo

1980 — Cablevision launches the ad-free net focused on the arts.

1994Inside the Actors Studio, hosted by James Lipton, debuts with guest Alec Baldwin.

2002 — NBC purchases Bravo for $1.25 billion.

2003 — The network’s makeover swings into action with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which hits 3.3 million viewers.

2005 — The ”Watch What Happens” slogan is introduced.

2006The Real Housewives craze begins with the ladies of Orange County. Foodie favorite Top Chef also premieres.

2008 — 5.8 million viewers — a network high — tune in to see Christian Siriano win season 4 of Project Runway.

Lifetime

1984 — Hearst Corp., Viacom, and CapCities/ABC band together to create Lifetime after a merger of Daytime and Cable Health Network.

1984Good Sex! With Dr. Ruth becomes the network’s first breakout hit.

1990 — The Lifetime Original Movie genre kicks off with Memories of Murder (which features a woman suffering from amnesia, natch).

1993 — Mary Tyler Moore scores Lifetime its first Emmy Award with her performance in Stolen Babies.

1995 — The net is christened ”Television for Women.”

1997Golden Girls reruns appear on Lifetime and pull in surprisingly spry ratings.

2007Army Wives nabs 3.5 million viewers, the network’s biggest series premiere.

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