Both were built in the ’80s, but Bravo and Lifetime have since carved out distinct identities. Here, a brief history.
1980 — Cablevision launches the ad-free net focused on the arts.
1994 — Inside the Actors Studio, hosted by James Lipton, debuts with guest Alec Baldwin.
2002 — NBC purchases Bravo for $1.25 billion.
2003 — The network’s makeover swings into action with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which hits 3.3 million viewers.
2005 — The ”Watch What Happens” slogan is introduced.
2006 — The Real Housewives craze begins with the ladies of Orange County. Foodie favorite Top Chef also premieres.
2008 — 5.8 million viewers — a network high — tune in to see Christian Siriano win season 4 of Project Runway.
1984 — Hearst Corp., Viacom, and CapCities/ABC band together to create Lifetime after a merger of Daytime and Cable Health Network.
1984 — Good Sex! With Dr. Ruth becomes the network’s first breakout hit.
1990 — The Lifetime Original Movie genre kicks off with Memories of Murder (which features a woman suffering from amnesia, natch).
1993 — Mary Tyler Moore scores Lifetime its first Emmy Award with her performance in Stolen Babies.
1995 — The net is christened ”Television for Women.”
1997 — Golden Girls reruns appear on Lifetime and pull in surprisingly spry ratings.
2007 — Army Wives nabs 3.5 million viewers, the network’s biggest series premiere.