The Lifetime original movie Steel Magnolias delivered big ratings in its premiere last night, drawing 6.5 million total viewers to become Lifetime’s third-most-watched original telecast ever. It posted the network’s best delivery since 2006 (Life Is Not A Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story). Steel Magnolias, a television adaptation of the play and 1989 film with an all-black cast, also became the No. 1 two-hour cable movie among total viewers since 2007.
Starring and executive produced by Queen Latifah and also starring Phylicia Rashad, Adepero Oduye, Condola Rashad, Jill Scott and Alfre Woodard, the Sony Pictures TV-produced film averaged 3.2 million adults 25-54, 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, executive produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, is Lifetime’s most-watched movie in network history with 2.5 million viewers, a cable best since at least 2004. It also averaged 3 million adults 18-49 (cable’s best since 2007), 2.4 million women 18-49 viewers (cable’s best since 2010), and a 4.9 Household rating.
Steel Magnolias is the subject of a lawsuit by a producer of the 1989 feature but premiered as scheduled after a judge on Friday denied an injunction.