Lifetime debuts off to a good start

'Side Order,' 'State of Mind' nab solid numbers

Lifetime’s new Sunday night series “Side Order of Life” and “State of Mind” got off to a solid start in their premieres, each averaging more than 2.2 million viewers.

Those figures were well below the 3.7 million who tuned in to the seventh week’s episode of Lifetime’s third Sunday rookie series, “Army Wives,”but Lifetime prexy of entertainment Susanne Daniels said she’s more than satisfied.

“We’re back on the map for Sunday night,” she said, harking back to a few years ago, when the net featured scripted Sunday hits “Strong Medicine,” “The Division” and “Any Day Now.”

Daniels said the Sunday night number that energized her the most was the 10.5 million viewers who tuned in at some point during the three hours to one or more of the shows, calling it a big audience for a cable network.

Lifetime is pushing hard to prevent the usual second-week slump in ratings of premiering shows, she said, by taking out radio ads, buying spots on other nets and running magazine ads, in addition to the usual stream of on-air promos.

Both “Side Order” and “State of Mind” harvested generally favorable reviews, so “I’m keeping my fingers crossed that watercooler buzz” will spread from “Army Wives” to keep viewers coming back to the two new shows, Daniels said.

The exec producers of “Side Order” are Dan Jinks, Bruce Cohen and Margaret Nagle. For “State of Mind,” Greer Shephard and Michael M. Robin are exec producers. Warner Bros. subsidiary Warner Horizon TV produces both shows.

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