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'Lizzie Borden' is second hit in a row for Lifetime

'Lizzie Borden' is second hit in a row for Lifetime
Billy Campbell and Christina Ricci star in "Lizzie Borden Took an Ax." (Chris Reardon / Lifetime)

Based on recent ratings success, Lifetime original movies are bucking the stereotype they once were. An impressive number of people tuned in watch Christina Ricci play Lizzie Borden in Lifetime's latest original, "Lizzie Borden Took an Ax."

The film about the real-life murder trial of Lizzie Borden drew 4.4 million viewers for its Saturday premiere. That came after the premiere last week of another Lifetime original movie, "Flowers in the Attic," which drew 6.1 million viewers, making both films among the highest-rated programs on cable TV this month.

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Ricci's portrayal of the 19th century murder suspect drew mixed reviews, with The Times' Mary McNamara saying the film strayed too far into camp and Ricci "flounces, flops and smiles knowingly but offers no insight."

Lifetime, however, cites Nielsen social media ratings that reveal "Lizzie Borden" was the most-tweeted-about program of the night across all of TV.

The ratings success and buzz of Lifetime's latest original productions is a far cry from the type of fare the channel used to air, with titles like "The Stranger Beside Me" and "Cyber Seductions: His Secret Life" that featured C-list stars either in jeopardy from dangerous men or health maladies.

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