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'Steel Magnolias' scores big numbers for Lifetime

Lifetime Premiere of "Steel Magnolias"
Lifetime Premiere of "Steel Magnolias"
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Lifetime

The Queen Latifah-produced "Steel Magnolias" delivered the Lifetime network its third-largest audience ever when 6.5 million viewers tuned in Sunday for the television movie.

The Lifetime Original Movie adaptation of the beloved play and 1989 film which starred Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Darryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis and Shirley MacLaine, drew impressive Nielsen numbers and was Lifetime's most-watched movie among women 25-54 in the history of the network with 2.5 million female viewers. The Sony Pictures Television-produced remake gave the original classic a fresh spin with a cast starring Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad, Alfre Woodard, Jill Scott, Adepero Oduye and Condola Rashad - Phylicia Rashad's real-life daughter - as Shelby. The telecast was the number one cable movie among total viewers since 2007 (not including miniseries) and posted Lifetime's best numbers since 2006's "Life is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story."

The Saturday premiere of "Abducted: The Carlina White Story," starring Aunjanue Ellis, Keke Palmer and Sherri Shepherd, was also a ratings winner for Lifetime, averaging 4.1 million total 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 of Programming for 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."

"Steel Magnolias" was executive produced by Queen Latifah and her longtime producing partner Shakim Compere, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Shelby Stone, and directed by Kenny Leon.

Catch the "Steel Magnolias" encore Monday night at 8:00pm ET/PT.

Did you watch? What did you think - a tearjerker like the original or missing a little something? Let me know! Leave a comment or hit me at


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