’Steel Magnolias’ remake blooms high ratings for Lifetime

This undated image released by Lifetime shows Queen Latifah as MíLynn, from left, Condola Rashad as Shelby and Tory Kittles as Jackson in a scene from the Lifetime Original Movie, "Steel Magnolias," which premiered Sunday on Lifetime.

LOS ANGELES -- “Steel Magnolias” towered for Lifetime on Sunday night.

A remake of the 1989 feature weeper about six resilient female friends of various ages - this time with an all-black cast led by Queen Latifah - delivered an average of 6.5 million total viewers in its premiere, according to Nielsen.

That was No. 3 on Lifetime’s all-time most-watched list and its best numbers since the 2006 telecast of a TV movie about the life of “American Idol” star Fantasia Barrino.

“Magnolias” scored much better among younger adults than much of Lifetime’s recent programming. Among women ages 25 to 54, “Steel Magnolias” delivered 2.5 million viewers, the highest tally in Lifetime’s history.

The 1989 movie featured Julia Roberts and Sally Field.