Last week the Lifetime network premiered its new series “The Client List” to
impressive ratings. Coming in at 2.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen Ratings, it
quickly became the networks most watched series launch since 2009. Why such a big launch on a network mostly known for made for TV movies? It could be an off-shoot of the 2010 movie of the same name with returning fans. It could be Jennifer Love Hewett’s “Ghost Whisperer” fan base, who was left high and dry when the series was cancelled, rushed to support her latest venture. Or it might just be that a large majority of the women out there driving the kiddie car pool have hidden desires that have nothing to do with the school bake sale.
The new steamy series, which marks a bit of a risk for Lifetime, follows a woman, played by Hewitt, who has been left by her husband. Finding herself swallowed up in bills and unable to support her two children, she takes a job as a masseuse at a day spa to make ends meet. Soon enough, she discovers that this seemingly normal spa offers services that are more erotic than therapeutic. Desperate to stay afloat, Hewitt’s character delves into this world of lingerie laden sensual massages.
It’s no secret that sex sells. No matter if it’s in advertising, entertainment, or just getting someone to buy you a drink at the local bar, sexy goes a long way to getting noticed. The big seller with “The Client List” is that it offers a steamy, almost naughty, premise, without the viewer, a.k.a., the host of curious women out there, feeling as though they are watching smut. No matter how ordinary a woman looks on the outside, you can guarantee that there is most likely an inner tiger dying to get out. Most of these feisty felines will never see any actual play, which is why so many woman, giggling and whispering sit down to watch a series like the “The Client List” where they can fantasize without feeling like they just popped in porn.
“The Client List” isn’t, of course, the first series to offer a sexy premise to the viewing public. Shows like “Sex in the City” and “Nip / Tuck” have been pushing the envelope for years with great amounts of success. The difference between these shows and the new Lifetime series is that they put the sexuality out there in a big way. Adults watching these shows needed to be weary of their children even walking through the room at certain points, whereas “The Client List” offers the tamed down version for those a little bit more shy about partaking in a slightly more sexy television programming.
In the end, it’s likely that “The Client List” will see a decent amount of success because it does offer a middle ground for viewers. The show itself offers good story lines and Jennifer Love Hewitt is charming as the single mom leading a double life. So those who decide to curiously tune in Sundays at 10:00pm will not only be watching for the sensual themes, but for quality programming as well. Looks like a happy ending, after all…no pun intended.
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