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The Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly debuted on Jan. 3 and has already reportedly reached a record 2.1 million viewers across the three nights it aired. If you haven’t seen it, don’t fret: Here’s everything you need to know to watch Surviving R. Kelly online for free.
The six-part series, executive produced by filmmaker and activist dream hampton, explores the longstanding allegations of sexual abuse, imprisonment, manipulation, and predatory behavior surrounding the R&B singer, which saw renewed media attention in 2017, after a BuzzFeed article alleged Kelly was keeping multiple women in a “cult” in homes in Chicago and Atlanta, and grooming them for sexual servitude. The series goes deeper into the alleged childhood sexual abuse Kelly experienced; his relationship with underage singer Aaliyah; and speaks with multiple survivors, former employees, Kelly’s ex-wife, and the families of victims. Kelly, who faced trial for 14 child pornography charges in 2008 but was acquitted, did not participate in the documentary and has denied all accusations.
Still, Surviving R. Kelly has had a ripple effect: While Kelly’s team started a now-deleted Facebook page to attack the credibility of his victims in the wake of the series, there’s also been a renewed investigation into allegations. An attorney for Joycelyn Savage, one of Kelly’s accusers who is featured in the series, claimed the Fulton County DA is opening a criminal investigation into allegations in Georgia. Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx has also asked those with information to come forward in Chicago.
An encore marathon of Surviving R. Kelly airs on Lifetime Jan. 11. In the meantime, here’s how to watch Surviving R. Kelly.
How to watch Surviving R. Kelly for free
All six episodes of Surviving R. Kelly are available for on-demand viewing on Lifetime’s site and the Lifetime app, which is available on Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV, and iOS and Android devices. To watch, you’ll need a cable or live TV streaming subscription. Here are your best options, all of which offer at least a one-week free trial, which should be plenty of time to finish the series.
WATCH: Is SlingTV worth it?
1) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
There are two different Sling TV base packages, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, both of which cost $25 per month. Sling Orange + Blue combines the two for $40 per month. No matter which one you’ll choose, you’ll get Sling TV and a host of other channels. (Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels.) One thing to note: Your Sling TV subscription won’t work on the Lifetime site or app, but as you can see above, the Surviving R. Kelly series can currently be streamed on-demand.
- Cost: $39.99 for your first month and $44.99 per month thereafter (after a 7-day free trial)
- FuboTV devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, iOS and Android devices
- FuboTV local channels: Fox, NBC, CBS (check local availability here)
FuboTV is no longer just a streaming service for sports. These days, it’s one of the best options for live TV online, whether you’re looking for general entertainment, cooking, news, or business. Your subscription also includes 30 hours of DVR. (Here’s the complete FuboTV channels list.)
- Cost: $40 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Hulu local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
If you’re looking for one solution to all of your streaming needs, check out Hulu with Live TV. You’ll get more than 60 great channels, including Lifetime, but you’ll also get access to Hulu‘s deep catalog of on-demand TV shows, movies, and documentaries, which offer a compelling counter to Netflix.
- Cost: $16 per month (after 7-day free trial)
- Philo devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, iOS and Android devices
- Philo local channels
Sure, you can power through Surviving R. Kelly in a matter of hours for free, but if you’re looking for a cheap, long-term solution for live TV online, Philo is your best bet. It costs just $16 per month and includes Lifetime, AMC, (Here are all of Philo’s channels)
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5) DirecTV Now
- Cost: $40-$75 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- DirecTV Now devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Amazon Fire Stick
- Local channels: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check local availability)
DirecTV Now is the online version of DirecTV, and it’s way cheaper. For just $40 per month, you get more than 65 channels, including Lifetime, History, HGTV, and plenty more. Plus, you can watch HBO for just $5 per month. (You can view the full DirecTV Now channels list here.)
New to cord-cutting? Here are our picks for the best movie streaming sites of 2018 and free live TV apps and channels. If you’re looking for a specific channel, here’s how to watch HBO, Showtime, Starz, Sundance TV, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, Willow, AMC, FX, Fox News, Freeform, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, FS1, TBS, TNT, Tennis Channel, Golf Channel, Syfy, HGTV, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Bravo, Lifetime, Discovery, PBS, the CW, BBC, CSPAN, NBA TV, MTV, Comedy Central, Food Network, TLC, HLN, A&E, Animal Planet, National Geographic, the Weather Channel, the History Channel, and NFL RedZone without cable, as well as free movies on YouTube. If you’re on the move, here’s how to watch Fox Sports Go and live stream NBC Sports.
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Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.
Austin Powell is the former managing editor of the Daily Dot. His work focuses on the intersection of entertainment and technology. He previously served as a music columnist for the Austin Chronicle and is the co-author of The Austin Chronicle Music Anthology.