Surviving R. Kelly breaks records for Lifetime

Lifetime’s doc series Surviving R. Kelly has helped the US cable channel deliver its best performance in key demos in more than two years.

The A+E Networks-owned channel drew 1.9m total viewers to the first two-hour episode of the six-part series, which premiered on 3 January and attracted 1.2m among adults 25-54, 1.1m across adults 18-49, 837,000 for women 25-54 and 767,000 across women 18-49.

Surviving R. Kelly was Lifetime’s best unscripted performance in more than three years in all key demos.

The series finds survivors and people from R. Kelly’s inner circle coming forward with new accusations about the R&B singer’s alleged sexual, mental and physical abuse.

The programme includes more than 50 interviews including civil rights activist Tarana Burke, musicians John Legend and Sparkle, talk-show host and former DJ Wendy Williams, ex-wife Andrea Kelly, ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones, brothers Carey and Bruce Kelly and many others.

According to ratings agency Nielson’s Social Content Ratings, Surviving R. Kelly also dominated social media, ranking as the top social primetime programme across broadcast and cable networks for 3 January, excluding sports.

The episode drew more than 743,000 total interactions across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, making Surviving R. Kelly Lifetime’s largest social premiere for any series or movie in network history.

The series concluded on Saturday (5 January).

Surviving R. Kelly is exec produced by critic, filmmaker and activist dream hampton, Tamara Simmons, Joel Karlsberg and Jesse Daniels for Kreativ Inc. which has a production deal with Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP), and Brie Miranda Bryant from Lifetime.

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