'Steel Magnolias' Averages 6.5 million Total Viewers in World Premiere

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

October 8th, 2012

via press release:


Film Featuring All-Star Cast Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad, Adepero Oduye, Condola Rashad,

Jill Scott and Alfre Woodard Becomes Number One Cable Movie among Total Viewers since 2007;

3.2 Million Adults 25-54 Viewers a Network Best Since 1995;

2.5 Million Women 25-54 Viewers Sets Movie Record for Network

World Premiere of Abducted: The Carlina White Story Averages 4.1 Million Total Viewers

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 8, 2012) – 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 pm ET/PT and Abducted: The Carlina White Story will immediately follow at 10:00pm 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.

Abducted: The Carlina White Story is based on a remarkable true story of the kidnapping of Carlina White (Palmer), who was abducted as an infant by Ann Pettway (Ellis) from a New York hospital and solved her own kidnapping and reunited with her biological parents 23 years later.  The case is reported to be the first known infant abduction from a New York hospital. On July 30th of this year, Pettway was sentenced in a New York court to 12 years in prison for kidnapping Carlina.  Abducted:  The Carlina White Story was produced by Pilgrim Studios, with Emmy® Award winner Craig Piligian serving as executive producer.  Mary Martin and Alan Gasmer also executive produced.  Vondie Curtis Hall directed the film, which was written by Elizabeth Hunter.


Lifetime Television is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families.  In the Third Quarter 2012, the network posted major growth in viewership versus Third Quarter 2011, including a 14% increase among Women 18-49, +9% in Women 25-54 and +5% among Adults 18-49, marking the third straight quarter Lifetime has registered year-on-year growth among the key demographics.  Lifetime Television®, LMN®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime Digital™ are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A+E Networks.  A+E Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.

  • Michael

    I’m assuming “Liz and Dick” will break records.

  • LaLa

    I predict Liz & Dick will become Lifetimes most watched original film ever.

  • william

    I watched it and thought it was alright- you knew everything that was going to happen because it was a remake. It would have been better if they would have changed some of it.

  • Mohanda

    Lifetime needs to do another LGBT movie. They haven’t done one in like 4 years now?

  • NEK38583

    @ William

    I agree with you. I thought it was good, but with the dialuque(sp) being almost the same as the orginal it was hard not to compare and it was no where as good as the orignal. It was the best movie I have seen in years, but my no means as good as the original. I think QL and PR was outstanding and should receive emmy nods, but the actress playing Weezer and the actor playing Dom(sp) was no where as good as the orginal. The one playing Annaile and Sandy had potential, but they did not give them a chance the develop I think. The actress playing Turvy did a great job. I will give her credit she took the charector and made it her own it was like she went a completly different way than Dolly Parton. I loved Dolly in the orginal and honestly prefer her, but the actress stands on her on I think she did an awesome job. The actress playing Shelby did a good job to. The one playing shelby husband I think was better than the orginal honestly he was kind of over shadow and forgotten in the orginal in this one he seemed more memorable and was able to capture the audience. That is my opion anyway.

  • Michael

    Keke Palmer did a great job as Carlina in “Abducted: The Carlina White Story”

  • JR

    3m 18-49 viewers? That’s pretty impressive. I still have to watch the original straight through before seeing this one.

  • Gigij

    I enjoyed “Steel Magnolias” the second movie very much. The first version is one of my top ten movies of my lifetime that I have watched at least ten times. It was nice to see it reproduced just like classic plays that are done over and over again. Always a good experience to see a new cast take on a classic. This cast did a great job. Congratulations!

  • MElissa

    I very much enjoyed seeing this collection of powerful actresses in the television adaptation of Steel Magnolias. I thought that the show was a good vehicle for Condola to get her name out there and was a good first big project for her. Honestly, I’m a bit partial to the movie because Queen Latifah wore one of my company’s products (the Cheetah cape) in the salon scene where the lights go out. Razor Sharp Salon Wear http://www.berazorsharp.com is so proud and excited to be a part of this empowering story of female friendship.

  • Jen

    I thought the movie was terrible. In the first scene where shelby has an attach, Julia Roberts in the original displays what a real actress should be, and the new version was horrible and bad acting which continues through the rest of the movie. Also, why is it remade the exact same, just with a all black cast? was it necessary to take a perfectly fine movie and only change it to a black cast for what?? Makes no sense to me.

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