Steel Magnolias Remake: 6.5M Viewers Tune in to Lifetime

The remake of "Steel Magnolias" featuring an all African-American cast aired on Lifetime Oct. 7, raking in an average of 6.5 million viewers.

According to Nielsen, the remake reached the third most-watched list of all time on Lifetime.

The remake starred Queen Latifah, Alfre Woodard, singer Jill Scott, Phylicia Rashad and her daughter Condola Rashad and Adepero Oduye.

The 1989 classic originally starred Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah and Julia Roberts.

The latest remake sees Latifah playing the lead role of  M'Lynn, the beauty salon owner, who was played by Sally Field in the original. The former rapper also serves as executive producer for the film that celebrates female bonding.

The film's storylines revolve around a group of friends who gossip while getting their hair done weekly at a local hair salon. The storylines center around friendship, pain and loss.

Lifetime's remake of "Steel of Magnolias" was adapted to modern times by including mentions of social media (Facebook), the First Lady (Michelle Obama), and R&B star Beyoncé.

When Oscar-winning producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron first came up with the idea of a remake featuring women of color, the pair immediately set their sights on Latifah. The duo had worked with the rapper-turned-actress on both "Chicago" and "Hairspray."

"When Craig (Zadan) and Neil Meron called me with the idea of redoing Magnolias with a black cast, I was all in," Latifah told Daily Beast. "I'd worked with them before, so I didn't even need to see the script for it. I also knew that story was timeless and colorless, which is something a lot of people need to understand about life. Certain things in life are universal."

"Without even pausing, (author Robert Hartling) said his dream was always to see 'Steel Magnolias' being done with an all African-American cast," Zadan told Zap2It. " 'Set it in the Deep South of today, in an African-American community, in an African-American beauty shop, and freely delve into the lives of that community, which is very different from a Southern white community, but you probably can tell the story without changing much dialogue,' he told us."

The remake is directed by Broadway veteran Kenny Leon, who had worked with Rashad on the stage and TV versions of "A Raisin In The Sun."

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