Lifetime’s documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly” was an instant success story for the network. The premiere dominated audiences this week, and the success carried over into social media. The premiere event delivered 1.9M Total Viewers, marking Lifetime’s best performance in more than two years in all key demos according to Nielsen Media Research. “Surviving R. Kelly” was also Lifetime’s best-unscripted performance in more than three years in all key demos.
From the first to last half hour, “Surviving R. Kelly” also saw impressive double-digit growth in Total Viewers, growing 18% overall. The numbers were even more impressive when you looked at women viewers, with Women 18-49 rising 19% and Women 25-54 increasing 16%. The series also saw a 13% lift in Adults 18-49.
As we mentioned earlier, “Surviving R. Kelly” also dominated the conversation social media. The event ranked as the top most-social primetime program across Broadcast and Cable television for January 3, excluding sports, again according to Nielsen Social Content Ratings. With over 743K total interactions across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, “Surviving R. Kelly” was Lifetime’s largest social premiere for any series or movie in the network’s history.
“Surviving R. Kelly” continued on January 4th, the final installment of the six-part documentary series will debut on tonight, January 5th. If you missed any part of the documentary, encore marathons of all six-hours are scheduled to air on January 6th on Lifetime; January 6th on LMN; and January 11th on Lifetime.
In the series, women are uniting their voices to share their stories. The network describes the show:
“Celebrated as one of the greatest R&B singers of all time, R. Kelly’s genre-defining career and playboy lifestyle has been riddled with rumors of abuse, predatory behavior, and pedophilia. Despite damning evidence and multiple witnesses, to date, none of these accusations have seemingly affected him. For the first time ever, survivors and people from R. Kelly’s inner circle, are coming forward with new allegations about his sexual, mental, and physical abuse. They are now finally ready to share their full story and shed light on the secret life the public has never seen.”
The documentary includes over 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.
The network also stated “the true story of R. Kelly’s controversial past will be revealed beginning in 1970 through present day, shedding light on the R&B star whose history of alleged abuse of underage African American girls has, until recently, been largely ignored by mainstream media.”