What's the Better Channel: Lifetime or HGTV?

By Price Peterson

Mar 16, 2012

TV.com voters were finally presented with an apples vs. apples decision and one network blew the other one out of the water! Congratulations goes to...

R.I.P. Disney Channel. Your nostalgia just wasn't as powerful as ol' saint Nick's.

These people know what I'm talking about:

algetrig91: "Nickelodeon was my third parent, so it would be patricide if I didn't pick it."

citizens13: "Seriously, who didn't want to be on Guts?"

jocey11: "Old Nick, not new."

This week's battle pits killer homemakers versus killer home makers!

Background: When the the Daytime Network was swallowed up by Viacom's Cable Health Network in 1982, the world's most famous network for women was born. Lifetime spent most of the '80s and '90s airing health and wellness shows, friendly chat shows, shopping-themed game shows, and most famously, made-for-TV, headline-inspired movies about women in peril—All to huge ratings success. The late 2000s saw a shakeup in ownership—A&E; Networks, Walt Disney Company, and NBC Universal are all involved somehow—and the network dropped its "Television for women," tagline in favor of attracting more diverse demographic to its original series and reality shows.

Original Programming: Everybody knows Lifetime's big ticket events are its B-star studded original movies (recent titles include the unintentionally hilarious Untouchable: The Drew Peterson Story, Blue-Eyed Butcher, and The Bling Ring) but Lifetime has also been home to such series like '90s hits Shop 'Til You Drop & Supermarket Sweep, recent hit Dance Moms, and high profile Bravo acquisition Project Runway. It's also had a certain amount of success with original scripted series like Drop Dead Diva, Strong Medicine, Army Wives, and Against the Wall. It's also the new home of John Walsh-demands-justice-hour, America's Most Wanted.

Reruns: Lifetime's always trafficked in network reruns, especially its made-for-TV movies (The Amy Fisher Story and Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? come to mind). But its current slate of syndicated reruns include Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, The New Adventures of Old Christine, How I Met Your Mother, Reba, and Will & Grace. And any mention of Lifetime needs to include the fact that its nearly endless rerunning of The Golden Girls may have directly led to the show's recent pop culture resurgence.

Why It's The Best: Doesn't matter if you're male or female, few networks are as sure a bet for trashy thrills as Lifetime.

Why It's The Worst: Get out of my nightmares, Abby Lee Miller.


Background: 1994 marked an explosion in the number of basic cable channels, particularly ones with singular purposes. In the case of "Home, Lawn and Gardening Channel," a network that sounded like it had fringe interest at best eventually became one of today's biggest draws. HGTV essentially pioneered an entire industry, one in which people suddenly took active interest and involvement in the fundamental design of their own homes. Programming originally consisted of how-tos, but now boasts an array of formats and genres, including house hunting series, reality competitions and especially makeover shows.

Original Programming: Through the years HGTV has produced dozens (hundreds?) of original series, including many co-productions with HGTV Canada. The current lineup includes Color Splash, Curb Appeal, HGTV'd, HGTV Design Star, Holmes on Homes, House Hunters, Income Property, My First Place, Property Virgins, Selling New York and its recent LA-based spinoff. Like Food Network, HGTV's on-air personalities frequently cross-pollinate and show up all over the programming lineup. These include Mike Holmes, David Bromstad, Candice Olson, Tanika Ray, Egypt Sherrod, Scott McGillivray, as well as Trading Spaces Alumni Genevieve Gorder and Vern Yip.

Reruns: HGTV is another one of those lucky channels that relies completely on its own vast archives to fill out its schedule.

Why It's the Best: If you own a home, HGTV is a super helpful resource; if you don't own a home, HGTV is the best way to live vicariously through people who do. Homes must be awesome to have.

Why It's the Worst: Homes must be awesome to have [kicks pebble].

Official TV.com Verdict
Call me over-the-hill, but few channels cheer me up after a long day like HGTV.

But now it's your turn! COMMENT BELOW and tell us your verdict: Lifetime or HGTV? And make your case! What do you love or hate about each channel?

Click below to see the full tournament bracket:

Note: Because we started with an odd number of channels, we gave some of the bigger channels a first-round bye.

Want to catch up on past battles? Head over to the America's Got Cable archives.

  • Comments (48)
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  • TrentonJMarsh Aug 08, 2012

    So i would have to say HGTV!! Why? Because i am a music publisher and one of my compositions Scored on HGTV (My First Place) Yea!! :)

  • artist2929 Apr 25, 2012


    Reruns of Gray's are the best thing on Lifetime.

  • algetrig91 Mar 23, 2012

    Give me Lifetime.

  • sleepy-sonic Mar 20, 2012

    Lifetime is way better

  • Bobz12 Mar 20, 2012

    HGTV by far... although my favorite show on it is the reruns of the Crash shows from DIY network...

  • Jay_Rae_21 Mar 19, 2012

    Lifetime, mostly because of the Will & Grace reruns.

  • misslee022884 Mar 19, 2012

    Meh... Lifetime, I guess.

  • ktfahel Mar 19, 2012

    This one's easy. I only watch HGTV once a year (for their uninterrupted coverage of the Rose Parade). I love "Reba" and some of the movies, and "America's Most Wanted" should NEVER - and I mean NEVER - be taken off the air. Lifetime wins!

  • JulioIsaac Mar 17, 2012

    Hands down got to be HGTV, I think is more round up channel than Lifetime. Lifetime is more oriented to females audiences and they really don't have programs to get the male fan base. HGTV on the other hand have programs for both, males and females.

    Final vote: HGTV

  • Silver_Sword_14 Mar 17, 2012

    I'll always remember Unsolved Mysteries scaring the crap out of me when I was younger. Thank you so much for that, Mom and Lifetime.

  • bluemystique Mar 18, 2012

    It was the music...dude's voice and the fact that they were Unsolved...gave me nightmares!

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