A&E's Acquisition of Lifetime Makes For Awkward Family Functions


A&E Television Networks, a partnership between Disney/ABC, Hearst, and NBC, has acquired the Lifetime Network. The move means Lifetime's new cash cow Project Runway is quasi-reunited with its original network, Bravo, a property of NBC, which also means that Thanksgiving at the Disney/ABC ranch house will be dicey. I expect a Tom Colicchio-catered bacchanal filled with snide commentary from Andy Cohen and Annie Potts, plus a Chanel No. 5 fight between Heidi Klum and the cast of Army Wives. Can someone use the baster to insert diplomacy into this mess?

Said Disney/ABC President and Disney Media Networks Co-Chairman Anne Sweeney in Variety, "Consolidating these networks puts a powerful portfolio of distinct brands under the strategic vision of one of the industry's most innovative and effective leaders.The new company will be much greater than the sum of its parts, positioning these brands for a new level of success and performance."

But will the deal protect Tim Gunn when Ramona Singer leaps to the floor and vindictively munches his J. Lindeberg blazer? As Diane von Furstenberg would say, things could get "a leeel vahl-gur."

A&E Acquires Lifetime [Variety]