January continues to be a good month for Lifetime original movie premieres, with the network’s Saturday night debut of “Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart” becoming ad-supported cable’s top-rated movie in key demos in one year.
In Nielsen’s preliminary national estimates, “Unbreak My Heart” averaged 3.6 million viewers, including 1.7 million adults 18-49 (1.3 rating) and 1.8 million adults 25-54 (1.5 rating). It stands as cable’s No. 1 original movie with adults 25-54, women 25-54 and women 18-49 since the January 2015 premiere of “Whitney” (1.7 rating in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall), also on Lifetime. The most-watched original cable movie of the past year is Disney Channel’s “Descendants” from last summer (6.55 million).
Lifetime’s top-rated movie of the last few years came in January 2014 with “Flowers in the Attic” (1.9 rating in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall).
Immediately after the movie at 10 p.m., the special “Beyond the Headlines: Tony Braxton,” drew 2.8 million viewers for Lifetime, including 1.3 million adults 18-49 and 1.4 million adults 25-54. It featured interviews with Toni and her family, L.A. Reid, Babyface, record producer David Foster and songwriter Diane Warren.
“Unbreak My Heart,” based on Toni Braxton’s popular memoir, follows the singer’s ups and downs through severe chronic illness, financial troubles and divorce while navigating her son’s autism and family struggles. It stars newcomer Lex Scott Davis as the seven-time Grammy Award-winning R&B icon.
Joining Braxton as executive producers on the film were Craig Baumgarten, Erik Kritzer and Marcus Grant, with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds a producer. The script was penned by Susan McMartin, with Vondie Curtis-Hall directing.