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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Younger Women Sure To Find ‘The Place’ Attractive

Tim Goodman Knight-Ridder

Lifetime Television, which bills itself as the cable channel for women, has often felt like the cable channel that’s kind of sort of directed at women but really just the cable channel where bits and pieces like “L.A. Law” and “The Commish” end up.

While Lifetime isn’t exactly wall-to-wall women-oriented programming, it has taken a major step by launching “The Place,” a two-hour block on Fridays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (repeating at 11 p.m.) that’s aimed directly at women ages 18-34.

After watching it with two women who fit squarely in that demographic, nothing could be more clear: Lifetime has a hit on its hands.

That’s not to say that men can’t get into “The Place,” which is basically a two-hour magazine, as well.

It’s two very solid hours of fun, informative, quality television for men with an open mind. And that’s saying something these days; you don’t often find four shows in a row that keep you glued to the set unless it’s a Thursday night on NBC.

The night begins with “The Dish” (7 p.m.), hosted by Tracee Ross, Diana’s daughter. Ross takes a spirited romp through the world of TV, movies, books, magazines and just about anything else in the pop culture universe. The premise is simple: She’s giving you “the dish” on what’s out there. But what sells it is Ross herself, who is vibrant and funny.

Next up is “Pandora” (7:30 p.m.), a take-from-it-what-you-will look at astrology, numerology, tarot cards, herbs and crystals, hosted by Ellee Devers. You might think this would drag or be corny, but both women watching thought it was cool and laughable at the same time. It certainly has its moments but does not fly by like “The Dish” does.

“The Wire” follows (8 p.m.) and looks exactly like what it’s intended to be: a young women’s magazine, like Elle, on TV. This show was a full-on blast. Supermodel Roshumba Williams is the “travel and lifestyle expert” who hosts the show. Also featured are reports on women in the workplace; make-up and beauty (host Rob Cunningham is hilarious, a TV gem); hair, fashion and style; nutrition and health; and finances.

“The Place” closes out with “Three Blind Dates” (8:30 p.m.) a segment about three couples getting hooked up for the first time. Now, this does feel a bit MTV in its approach, but Lifetime manages to make it far more attractive by having comedian Beth Littleford host.

Interviews with the participants reveal just how far apart a man’s and a woman’s perspective can be. It’s essential viewing for both sexes.

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