[06/20/06 - 12:00 AM]
Lifetime Television's Original Movie 'A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story' Becomes Network's Most Watched Original Movie of 2006 Averaging 5.1 Million Total Viewers

[via press release from Lifetime]

Lifetime Television's Original Movie 'A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story' Becomes Network's Most Watched Original Movie of 2006 Averaging 5.1 Million Total Viewers

- Second Most Watched Movie of Year Among All Ad-Supported Basic Cable Movies -

- 'Lovespring International' Up 65% in Total Viewers with 1.5 Million Viewers -

NEW YORK, June 20 -- Lifetime Television posted huge numbers on Monday evening with its powerhouse one-two programming of the Lifetime Original Movie "A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story" followed by the new comedy Lovespring International." At 9PM (ET/PT), "A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story," a moving drama about a loving single mother who prevails upon her close-knit Latino family to accept her teenaged son's daring decision to live as a girl, became the network's most watched original movie of this year when it averaged 5.1 million total viewers during its premiere on Monday, June 19 from 9-11PM (ET/PT).

The movie was second only to A&E's "Flight 93" (5.9 million total viewers) among all original movies on ad-supported basic cable this year.

The movie averaged a 4.4 household rating and ranked number #1 in its time slot among primetime households, W18-34, W18-49. Lifetime Original Movies are overall #1 in primetime households, total viewers, W18-34 and W18-49 among all ad-supported basic cable networks this year, continuing the first place status they enjoyed in 2005 when led by Golden Globe nominee "Human Trafficking."

Following the movie at 11PM (ET/PT), Lovespring International, Lifetime's new original comedy series about a dysfunctional dating service (produced by "Will & Grace" star Eric McCormack) posted its highest ratings in its third episode of the season, averaging a 1.4 household rating with 1.5 million total viewers -- up 65% over the first two episodes average.

"A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story" starred Oscar(R), Tony(R) and Golden Globe(R) award-winner Mercedes Ruehl ("The Fisher King," "Entourage") and J.D. Pardo ("Veronica Mars," "American Dreams"). Famed attorney Gloria Allred, who represented the real life mother Sylvia Guerrero at the murder trial, was co-executive producer.

Based on a true story, the film follows Sylvia Guerrero (Ruehl), a single mother whose teenager (Pardo), born male and named Eddie Araujo, boldly decides to live life as the young woman she knew herself to be by growing long hair, wearing women's clothing and make-up and eventually adopting the name Gwen, after her idol, singer Gwen Stefani. Her difficult decision creates tension and conflict within her traditional close-knit Latino family but over time, they slowly learn to understand and accept Gwen's choice. When Gwen's transgender status is disclosed by four young men at a local party, they brutally beat and kill her. Gwen's senseless murder shakes her Northern California community and makes headlines across the nation. Sylvia decides to dedicate her life to bringing her daughter's killers to justice and advocating for the rights of all transgender people.

Lifetime partnered with organizations including the YWCA of the USA, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD); the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network; the National Center for Transgender Equality; Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); and the Transgender Law Center, to create a special public service announcement (PSA), featuring the film's stars. The PSA aired immediately following the film, directing viewers to resources on how to encourage tolerance and help end discrimination. Lifetime also offered additional information at Lifetimetv.com, including links to partner websites.

"A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story" was produced by Braun Entertainment Group in association with Sony Pictures Television for Lifetime Television. Zev Braun and Philip Krupp ("Amber Frey: Witness for the Prosecution," "Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills") are executive producers. Gloria Allred is co-executive producer. Shelley Evans ("Footsteps," "One Kill") wrote the teleplay. Oscar(R) nominated and critically acclaimed Agnieszka Holland ("Europa Europa," "The Wire," "Copying Beethoven") will direct.

"Lovespring International" is produced by Big Cattle Productions and distributed by Lionsgate for Lifetime Television. Eric McCormack, Michael Forman, Guy Shalem and Brad Isaacs are the executive producers. The show was created by both Shalem and Isaacs.

LIFETIME is the leader in women's television and one of the top-rated basic cable television networks. A diverse, multi-media company, LIFETIME is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families. LIFETIME Television, LMN, Lifetime Real Women, Lifetime Home Entertainment, and Lifetime Online are part of LIFETIME Entertainment Services, a 50/50 joint venture of The Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company.

SOURCE Lifetime Television

  [june 2006]  


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