The heavily hyped and overly promoted miniseries “The Loudest Voice” made its debut Sunday on Showtime — and it was a disaster of epic proportions.
According to Forbes, ratings from Nielsen Media Research revealed that the show about late Fox News founder Roger Ailes — portrayed by Russell Crowe — bombed, scoring just 299,000 total viewers on its first night.
However, the bread-and-butter demographic for advertisers — viewers between the ages of 25 and 54 — scored a shockingly low 47,000 viewers.
You can see how poorly the show fared in the ratings below:
In the second graphic, you can see that viewers in the 18 to 34 demographic came in at about 8,000 — abysmal by most standards.
Earlier that night, “Big Little Lies” aired on HBO and brought in more than 1.605 million viewers, including 647,000 in the coveted 25 to 54 age demographic.
Despite well-known actors in “The Loudest Voice” — such as Crowe, Sienna Miller, Naomi Watts, and Seth MacFarlane — there was an 87% drop in the 25 to 54 demographic between Showtime’s mini-series about Ailes and the network’s recent premiere of “Billions.”
According to a Showtime description of its anti-Fox News show, “the seven-part limited series based on a bestselling book is about Roger Ailes, the founder of Fox News. To understand the events that led to the rise of the modern Republican party, one must understand Ailes.”
Based on Gabriel Sherman’s book “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” the miniseries shows how “Ailes arguably became the party’s de facto leader” before telling of his departure from Fox News after sexual harassment accusations and court settlements against the cable news mogul.
The marketing machine behind the show was staggering, with ubiquitous billboards in addition to ads on TV and the internet.
According to the Los Angeles Times, street artists altered one of the billboards on Sunset Boulevard with cutout of Ailes and a word bubble above him that read, “Haters gonna hate!”
In addition, liberal media publishers jumped on board, with The Washington Post stating that the show “drops itself squarely into the news cycle” — a reference to the timing between the program’s debut and the Democratic presidential primary debates.
The Post added that “Trump is a running theme and occasional off-screen character” and concluded the story “has the potential to shape perceptions and evoke reactions like few pieces of contemporary entertainment.”
But those publications’ advertising bucks and promotions amounted to a dismal premiere — one that ratings-generator Ailes would probably laugh at.
“The Loudest Voice” amounted to nothing more than an expensive and seemingly failed attack on Fox News, in a weak attempt to embarrass America’s highest-rated network and chip away at its audience.
However, Showtime only ended up embarrassing itself. Here’s hoping Hollywood got the message.
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