Lifetime grins as 'Naked' bares

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"How to Look Good Naked" looks pretty good in Lifetime's view.

"Naked," an unscripted series in which Carson Kressley teaches women of all sizes to love their bodies, became the female-targeted network's most-watched reality series premiere ever in the key adult demographics of 18-49 (868,000 viewers) and 18-34 (449,000) as well as among women 18-34 (344,000).

Overall, "Naked" averaged 1.8 million total viewers in its debut at 9 p.m. Friday, according to Nielsen Media Research.

By comparison, Lifetime's now-defunct unscripted series "Cheerleader Nation" -- which, like "Naked," received a big promotional push -- debuted to 1.6 million viewers on a Sunday (March 12, 2006) and drew only 779,000 viewers when it moved to Fridays after three airings. "Naked" also improved on "Nation's" premiere numbers in 18-49 (858,000), 18-34 (403,000) and women 18-34 (291,000).

Following "Naked" were the premieres of the matchmaking series "Matched in Manhattan" (9:30 p.m.) and the party-planning programs "Top This Party: Orange County" (10 p.m.) and "Top This Party: Las Vegas" (10:30 p.m.). None of the three matched "Naked's" numbers, but Lifetime said they all improved on the network's women 18-34 performance by at least double-digit percentages compared with the same time periods a year ago.

"Matched" averaged 971,000 total viewers and 208,000 in women 18-34; "Orange County" pulled in 871,000 total viewers, including 291,000 in the demo; and "Las Vegas" averaged 747,000 total viewers and 219,000 in the demo.

"These promising ratings are a wonderful way to start 2008," Lifetime Networks president of entertainment Susanne Daniels said. "By turns humorous, poignant and empowering, these series exemplify the entertaining new reality programming direction of the network."

The network also said that myLifetime.com posted its highest single week of traffic in more than a year, with a 32% increase compared with the previous week.
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