The Client List

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The Client List
The Client List.jpg
Promotional poster
Written bySuzanne Martin
Directed byEric Laneuville
StarringJennifer Love Hewitt
Cybill Shepherd
Teddy Sears
Lynda Boyd
Chelah Horsdal
Sonja Bennett
Theme music composerRichard Marvin
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Ted Bauman
Howard Braunstein
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Michael Jaffe
Dannielle Thomas
Editor(s)Lisa Robison
Running time97 minutes
Original networkLifetime Network
Original releaseJuly 19, 2010 (2010-07-19)

The Client List is a television film that premiered on the Lifetime Network on July 19, 2010. It starred Jennifer Love Hewitt and was directed by Eric Laneuville. The film is a fictionalized dramatization of a 2004 prostitution scandal[1][2] in Odessa, Texas. It follows Sam Horton, a mother of three who becomes a prostitute to meet her financial obligations.[3]


Samantha and Rex Horton are unemployed and struggling to provide for their three children and keep their home. Desperate to stave off foreclosure, Samantha takes a job at a massage parlor, but quickly learns it's a house of prostitution, with the internal motto "beats the hell out of waitressing". As the Hortons are down to their last dollar, Samantha stays, and quickly becomes one of the most popular employees, being very personable with her clients. While her earnings increase, she hides the true nature of her job from her family and friends, even while lavishing them with expensive gifts. Rex later finds work again himself.

Sam's popularity causes another problem: exhaustion, affecting her relationships. One of her clients gives her cocaine to keep her going. Meanwhile, a very young masseuse has revealed the true nature of the parlor to a church group, and public pressure on the mayor, who is up for re-election, leads to a police raid, even though many on the force are also clients. Sam's arrest is shown live on television at the bar Rex frequents. Her drug supply is also found, leading to an additional charge for possession.

Sam is bailed out of jail by her close friend Dee, the only one she confided in about her real job. Dee berates Sam for not having the courage to drop the job after her needs were met. Rex and Sam separate. Another friend, Laura, is a lawyer, who convinces Sam to form a "client list" of the more prominent "johns". For their cooperation, Sam and her co-workers receive light jail sentences.

After her release from jail, Samantha is confronted by several of the clients' wives -- who are looking for advice on how to improve their marriages. Attempting to move on, she becomes a waitress and goes back to college, and hopes to patch things up with Rex.



The Client List drew in an audience of 3.9 million viewers and was the highest rated program for the evening amongst female viewers between the ages of 18 and 49.[4] Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker considered it a typical Lifetime film that "offer[ed] cheap thrills … while offering moral uplift." Calling it "malarkey," he felt that Hewitt was able to sell the film to the audiences due to her "talent for communicating sincerity and charm."[5]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The film received a Golden Globe nomination for Jennifer Love Hewitt in the category "Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television," but lost to Claire Danes starring as Temple Grandin in the film of the same name.[6]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD in January 2011 in North America.

Television series[edit]

On August 10, 2011, it was announced that Lifetime had ordered production of The Client List television series based on the film. Hewitt acted as the lead role and also served as an executive producer. The series however, was a re-imagination of the film (with Hewitt's character having a different name from the film), and was not a direct continuation of the film's story line. The series premiered on April 8, 2012.[7] On November 1, 2013, Lifetime cancelled the series after two seasons; the final episode of the series aired on June 16, 2013.[8][9]


  1. ^ Vine, Katy (January 2005). "She Had Brains, a Body, and the Ability To Make Men Love Her". Texas Monthly. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  2. ^ Lee, David J. (June 28, 2004), 61 arrested in Healing Touch case, Odessa American, retrieved 2014-02-22
  3. ^ Pantera, Gabrielle (July 19, 2010). "Tonight on Lifetime: The Client List". Hollywood Today. Archived from the original on July 22, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
  4. ^ Levine, Stuart (July 20, 2010). "'Client List' fares well for Lifetime". Variety. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  5. ^ Tucker, Ken (July 19, 2010). "'The Client List' review: Jennifer Love Hewitt shook her money-maker". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  6. ^ "'The King's Speech,' 'Glee' Lead Golden Globe Pack With Most Nominations". Fox News. December 14, 2010.
  7. ^ Seidman, Robert (August 10, 2011). "Jennifer Love Hewitt to Star in and Executive Produce New Lifetime Series 'The Client List'". Tv by the Numbers. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  8. ^ Ng, Philiana (November 1, 2013). "Lifetime Cancels 'The Client List'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 1, 2013). "Lifetime's 'The Client List' Cancelled After Two Seasons". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 1, 2013.

External links[edit]