Well who ever said a bit of controversy would be bad for ratings? Certainly not Lifetime, who on Saturday evening scored their highest ratings in a year with their biopic of singer Whitney Houston. 4.5 million viewers tuned in on Saturday night to see Whitney, making it the highest rated show on US television that evening, just behind NBC’s ‘Dateline’ and CBS’s ’48 Hours’.

Yaya DaCosta as Whitey HoustonYaya DaCosta as Whitey Houston

Most viewers also chose to stick around after the movie had finished to watch Houston’s former husband Bobby Brown give his perspective on life with the troubled singer, in an interview which drew 4.1 million viewers. The next hour 3.2 million stayed on the channel to watch a special on the singer’s greatest performances.

But it’s safe to assume that Houston’s family was probably not among the biopic’s 4.5million viewers. The day of the broadcast the late singer’s sister-in-law Pat released a scathing statement slamming the movie and it’s portray of Houston.

More: Better, But Not Good: Lifetime's Bobby Brown-Centric Biopic 'Whitney' Doesn't Make Up For 'Aaliyah'

“I say this to all Whitney's family, friends and fan base: If you watch this movie, watch it knowing that Lifetime is notorious for making bad biopics of deceased celebrities and brace yourself for the worst,” read the statement by Houston on the late singer’s website.

Whitney HoustonWhitney Houston's family heavily criticised the biopic

But despite reservations, critics found Whitney to be at least a step above the usual Lifetime biopic, with Yaya DaCosta’s performance as the singer being singled out as a highlight. The main criticism came from director Angela Bassett’s decision to focus mainly on the singer’s troubled relationship with former husband Bobby Brown, rather than giving any real insight into Houston’s problems. 

More: What To Expect From Lifetime's Whitney Houston Biopic

"We need a new term to describe the sort of history on offer in Whitney. Maybe "fantastical history" is the term?” wrote Jon Caramanic in the New York Times. Adding that the film ‘cherry picked’ moments of Houston’s life.

That sentiment seemed to be shared by many viewer's on Saturday night who took to twitter to wonder why a film entitled Whitney, about one of the most talented singer's of her generation, decided to focus so much on her love life and in particular Bobby Brown