‘Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?’: 8 numbers to know before Lifetime’s remake airs
Lifetime’s James Franco-enabled* remake of “Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?” airs Saturday. In the nearly 20 years since the original film aired, it has become a cult/camp classic, thanks in no small part to its outlandish title, and it’s become a shorthand reference for every woman-in-danger movie Lifetime and others have ever made.
(*Franco is an executive producer and has a “story by” credit and a small-ish role in the movie but didn’t write or direct it. Amber Coney wrote the script, and Melanie Aitkenhead is the director.)
Except: The original is not really a Lifetime movie. It aired on NBC in the fall of 1996. The title, the stone-faced seriousness of the story and numerous airings on Lifetime in the two decades since have kept it in the pop-culture consciousness and helped lead to Saturday’s remake.
Here are a few facts and figures about the movie that you may not have known.
Sept. 30, 1996
Airdate of the original “Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?” as part of NBC’s Monday-night movie franchise.
15.8 million, 11.5
Number of viewers and household rating for the initial airing.
The movie’s place in the household rankings for that night and the week. Finishing ahead of it on that night were ABC’s “Monday Night Football” and all of CBS’ lineup: “Murphy Brown,” “Cybill,” “Cosby,” “Pearl” and “Chicago Hope.” (It beat “Chicago Hope” in viewers.)
Its ranking among made-for-TV movies that week. CBS’ “The People Next Door” — another woman-in-danger thriller that starred Nicollette Sheridan — had a 12.7 household rating and 16.6 million viewers.
Chances to watch the original movie on-air before the remake airs: 7 and 11 p.m. ET/PT Friday on LMN and 11 a.m. Saturday on Lifetime. It’s also streaming on the Lifetime Movie Club subscription service.
The biggest audience for a Lifetime original movie in 2016 so far, for “Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart” in January.