'Game Change' premiere scores big ratings for HBO

Largest audience for HBO movie since 2004

March 13, 2012|By David Zurawik | The Baltimore Sun

HBO's "Game Change," the docudrama about the John McCain and Sarah Palin presidential campaign in 2008, was a big ratings winner for HBO in its Saturday premiere drawing 2.1 million viewers.

That was the largest debut audience for an HBO movie since Something the Lord Made" in 2004, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Read that here.

That film about a pioneering medical worker at Johns Hopkins was also filmed in Maryland, by the way. It drew an audience of 2.6 million.

In comparing those numbers, it must be noted that the media landscape in 2004 was far less competitive that that of today.

The aggregate audience for four plays of "Game Change" over the weekend was 3.6 million.

I am written out of "Game Change." I have been writing stories on it since the filming started here last summer, and two weeks before its debut I had already called it the most culturally important TV-movie or feature film of the year because of the widespread public conversation it started about media, politics, celebrity and the political process.

It is especially valuable in terms of the questions it raises about the the way we select presidents these days. And if you don't think the process is a mess, check out what's happening with the GOP this season.

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