via press release:
LIFETIME® ORIGINAL MOVIE CLEVELAND ABDUCTION DELIVERS 3.1 MILLION VIEWERS IN WORLD PREMIERE
Film Based on Michelle Knight’s Best-Selling Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings and Starring Taryn Manning and Raymond Cruz
is Saturday Night’s Most Talked About Program on Twitter
LOS ANGELES, CA (May 4, 2015) – The Lifetime Original Movie Cleveland Abduction (#ClevelandAbduction), starring SAG Award® winner Taryn Manning as Michelle Knight and SAG nominee Raymond Cruz as Ariel Castro, averaged 3.1 million Total Viewers in its world premiere Saturday night, according to Nielsen Fast Cable Ratings. The movie, which explores the true story of Knight, a 21-year-old single mom whose life was irrevocably changed by a chance encounter with an unsuspected criminal, also averaged 1.3 million Adults 25-54 viewers, 1.2 million Adults 18-49 viewers and 1.1 million Women 25-54 viewers in its 8:00pm time period.
Produced by Sony Pictures Television, Cleveland Abduction was Saturday’s most talked about primetime program on Twitter (source: Nielsen, Prime Only, All Networks, Excluding Sports programming and Specials).
Following the premiere at 10pm ET/PT, Beyond the Headlines: Cleveland Abduction, which takes a deeper look into the case and includes an interview with Knight about her experience, brought in 2.9 million Total Viewers, 1.2 million Adults 25-54 viewers and 1.1 million Adults 18-49 viewers.
On August 22, 2002, Knight was abducted by Castro (Cruz) in Cleveland and held captive in his home for more than 11 years. Finding strength through her belief in God and determined to be reunited with her son, Knight refused to be broken by the twisted Castro. Soon thereafter, he abducted two teenagers, Amanda Berry (Samantha Droke, Eastwick) and Gina DeJesus (Katie Sarife, Supernatural), and imprisoned them alongside Michelle, who then became a friend and sister figure to her fellow victims.
When Berry became pregnant with Castro’s child, it was Knight who delivered her baby, even performing CPR on the infant girl under the threat of Castro. Despite enduring more than a decade of brutality, Michelle’s spirit would not be broken, and her unshakable faith in the face of a seemingly hopeless situation was a testament to the human spirit. On May 6, 2013, Michelle was rescued from the home that was her prison for nearly 11 years, and finally given the chance to reclaim her life.
Golden Globe Award nominee Pam Grier (Jackie Brown) portrays Carla, a nurse who helped care for Knight in the hospital, and Emmy Award winner Joe Morton (Scandal) plays Solano, an FBI agent in charge of the investigation.
Cleveland Abduction was produced by Sony Pictures Television. Executive producers were Judith Verno (Masters of Sex, Lizzie Borden Took an Ax) and Frank von Zerneck (The Elizabeth Smart Story, Left to Die). David Rosemont (Bonnie & Clyde) produced. The film was written by Stephen Tolkin (The Craigslist Killer) and directed by Alex Kalymnios (Becoming Human, Hollyoaks).