Lifetime’s Wendy Williams Biopic and Documentary Delivered Big Ratings

Wendy Williams: The Movie (Credit: Lifetime)

Wendy Williams: The Movie and its accompanying documentary Wendy Williams: What a Mess! delivered big numbers for Lifetime.

The two films — which offered a closer at Williams’ life — premiered on Saturday, Jan. 30, making the daytime diva a hot topic in primetime. According to Nielsen Media Research, Wendy Williams: The Movie drew a stunning 2.9 million total viewers in Live+3 and was the most-watched show in primetime on Jan. 30 with women ages 25-54 and women in the 18-49 demo.

The biopic, which starred Ciera Payton, was followed by Wendy Williams: What a Mess! The doc was Lifetime’s best non-fiction telecast in more than two years among total viewers (2.6 million) and women 25-54 (802,000) in Live+3.

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The week before the two films aired, Lifetime debuted a biopic on legendary rap group Salt-N-Pepa. The film titled Salt-N-Pepa aired on Jan. 23, drawing 1.9 million total viewers and 669,000 women 25-54 in Live+3 ratings, making it the #1 telecast in primetime that night with women 25-54 and women 18-49.

Across all telecasts, Lifetime’s Wendy Williams and Salt-N-Pepa movies and documentaries have reached more than 15.5 million total viewers to date.

In the lead-up to her two films, which Williams executive produced, she did a publicity blitz dropping a string of bombshells about her previous relationships, including an allegation that she was raped by late R&B singer Sherrick. During a virtual news conference, Williams also told reporters her marriage to Kevin Hunter was on the rocks for a decade before he got his mistress pregnant and she walked away.

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Lifetime’s next documentary will air on Saturday, Feb. 6 with the premiere of Whitney Houston & Bobbi Kristina: Didn’t We Almost Have It All. As Urban Hollywood 411 previously reported, the doc will include interviews with Houston’s sister-in-law Tina Brown; her goddaughter Brandi Boyd; producer and former American Idol judge Randy Jackson; and Houston’s friends Perri “Pebbles” Reid and Cherrelle.

According to a press release from the network, Wendy Williams: What a Mess! will re-air on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 11 a.m. ET/PT, followed by an encore of Wendy Williams: The Movie at 1 p.m. ET/PT. Salt-N-Pepa will also have an encore broadcast on Sunday, Feb. 7 at 12 p.m. ET/PT.

Watch the video below of Williams talking about her troubled marriage.