"The Golden Girls" and all those women in peril are getting some new neighbors.
Lifetime has snapped up the exclusive basic-cable rights to ABC's hit "Desperate Housewives," with repeats of the show's first season scheduled to begin this summer. The deal will also allow the cable network to repurpose the show beginning in September 2008, with new episodes airing a week or two after their debut on ABC (Lifetime is half-owned by ABC parent Disney).
"This brilliant water-cooler series makes us laugh and makes us cry with its insightful windows into the lives, emotions, dreams and disappointments of diverse women," says Leslie Glenn-Chesloff, head of acquisitions at Lifetime. "As a pop-culture icon with powerful appeal to women viewers, 'Desperate Housewives' is a perfect addition to our schedule."
The Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning series does seem like a natural fit for Lifetime, revolving as it does around the lives of several women whose upper-middle-class lives belie a slew of problems below the surface. "Housewives" is averaging better than 22 million viewers per week this season and trails only "American Idol" in ratings among Lifetime's target audience of women 18-49.
Season one of "Desperate Housewives" will begin airing weekly on Lifetime in August.