The Lifetime Original Movie Steel Magnolias, a television adaptation of the iconic play and 1989 film, reached new heights for the network, averaging 6.5 million Total Viewers in its world premiere last night, becoming Lifetime’s third most-watched original telecast ever -- posting its best delivery since 2006 (Life is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story) -- and the number one cable movie among Total Viewers since 2007 (excluding miniseries).
Starring and executive produced by Queen Latifah and also starring Phylicia Rashad, Adepero Oduye, Condola Rashad with Jill Scott and Alfre Woodard, the Sony Pictures Television-produced film averaged 3.2 million Adults 25-54 viewers, Lifetime’s best delivery in the demographic for a movie in 17 years since the 1995 premiere of Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story, and a cable best since 2006. Among Women 25-54, Steel Magnolias has become Lifetime’s most-watched movie in network history with 2.5 million viewers, a cable best since at least 2004, according to Nielsen Research. It also averaged 3.0 million Adults 18-49 viewers (cable’s best since 2007), 2.4 million Women 18-49 viewers (cable’s best since 2010) and a 4.9 Household rating.
In addition, the movie registered triple-digit increases versus the 2012-to date Lifetime movie average, including +171% among Total Viewers, +266% in Women 18-49, +253 in Adults 18-49, +232% among Women 25-54 and +229% in Adults 25-54, as well as +165% in Household rating. Steel Magnolias was executive produced by Queen Latifah, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Shakim Compere and Shelby Stone, and directed by Kenny Leon.
The Saturday, October 6, world premiere of the Lifetime Original Movie Abducted: The Carlina White Story also generated strong viewership, averaging 4.1 million Total Viewers, as well as 1.8 million Adults 25-54 viewers, 1.6 million Adults 18-49 viewers, 1.4 million Women 25-54 viewers and 1.3 million Women 18-49 viewers. Starring Aunjanue Ellis, Keke Palmer and Sherri Shepherd, Abducted: The Carlina White Story generated a 3.1 Household rating. Immediately following the movie, Lifetime’s hour-long documentary Beyond the Headlines: Carlina White averaged 3.5 million Total Viewers, 1.6 million Adults 25-54 viewers, 1.5 million Adults 18-49 viewers, 1.3 million Women 25-54 viewers and 1.2 million Women 18-49 viewers.
“We couldn’t be happier with the great response Steel Magnolias and Abducted: The Carlina White Story received from viewers this weekend,” said Rob Sharenow, Executive Vice President, Programming, of Lifetime Networks. “These incredible numbers speak to the powerful stories and performances delivered by amazing casts and the strong production teams behind each movie. We are very proud to have partnered with them on these very special films.”
Lifetime will encore Steel Magnolias tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT and Abducted: The Carlina White Story will immediately follow at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Steel Magnolias chronicles the lives and friendship of six women -- “M’Lynn” (Queen Latifah), “Clairee” (Phylicia Rashad), “Annelle” (Oduye), “Shelby” (Condola Rashad), “Truvy” (Scott) and “Ouiser” (Woodard) -- in Louisiana. Supporting each other through their triumphs and tragedies, they congregate at Truvy’s beauty shop to ponder the mysteries of life and death, husbands and children - and hair and nails - all the important topics that truly unite and celebrate women. Produced by Sony Pictures Television, Steel Magnolias is executive produced by Queen Latifah, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Shakim Compere and Shelby Stone, and directed by Kenny Leon from a script by Sally Robinson. The movie was based on the play and screenplay by Robert Harling.