Wendy Williams biopic, documentary score big ratings in Lifetime premiere
'Wendy Williams: The Movie' and 'Wendy Williams: What a Mess' take number one spots in multiple categories
Two films depicting the life and career of media personality Wendy Williams premiered on Lifetime a week ago and the results are in: Wendy is number one.
The biopic Wendy Williams: The Movie was the top cable film in multiple categories including adults and women, drawing a total of 2.9 million viewers, according to a press release from Lifetime citing figures from Nielsen. That’s the best number of viewers against all other cable movies, excluding holiday movies, over the past nine months, the release said.
The film chronicles Williams’ rise from popular and polarizing New York radio shock jock to powerful talk show host and producer amid endless controversies, including a tumultuous marriage with ex-husband Kevin Hunter. CIera Payton, best known for her role in Tyler Perry’s The Oval, starred in the title role, while Morocco Omari of P-Valley fame portrayed Hunter.
Wendy Williams: The Movie ousted from the top spot Lifetime‘s other 2021 biopic, Salt-N-Pepa, about the pioneering rap group of the same name, which earned 1.9 million viewers in January. It remains the number two viewed cable movie of the year.
Immediately following the biopic was the documentary Wendy Williams: What a Mess, featuring interviews and anecdotes from Williams about her upbringing, career ascension, clashes with celebrities and radio rivals, marriage, fertility struggles, bouts with drug addiction and divorce.
Included in the interviews of the two-hour documentary were Williams’ parents, Thomas and Shirley Williams, brother, Tommy Jr., and radio executives and former colleagues, such as DJ Mr. Cee and Charlamagne tha God.
The documentary joined in the Williams ratings coup with 2.6 million viewers. It now ranks as Lifetime’s highest-rated non-fiction telecast and is currently cable’s most-viewed documentary among the key demo so far this year.
Both the Wendy Williams programs were also that day’s number one trending topic on Twitter.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!