Showtime Bosses ‘Disappointed’ by Reviews for ‘Loudest Voice’ — But Not the Ratings

TCA 2019: “I thought there was a disconnect between the quality I see — and everyone I talk to — and the reviews,” entertainment co-president Gary Levine tells TheWrap

Last Updated: August 2, 2019 @ 3:52 PM

Despite coming in with a lot of buzz, Showtime’s heavily-promoted Roger Ailes miniseries “The Loudest Voice” has been quiet when it comes to Nielsen results. Showtime’s entertainment presidents told TheWrap that, while they’re just fine with its ratings performance, they have a bone to pick or two with critics.

“We’re thrilled with its performance on our air. I’ll be honest, I was disappointed with some of the reviews,” Showtime’s Gary Levine told TheWrap. “I thought there was a disconnect between the quality I see, and everyone I talk to, and the reviews. I don’t know if there was something in the subject matter that created that.”

After getting off to a poor ratings start, the Russell Crowe-starring miniseries has averaged a lackluster 337,000 viewers for its first four episodes in live+same day results from Nielsen, factoring in replays. The most recent episode last Sunday was slightly above the average with 359,000 viewers, according to Nielsen data. However, the show gets a hefty amount of delayed and on-demand viewing, averaging 2.2 million on a weekly basis when digital platforms are factored in.

Levine argued that the subject matter of “Loudest Voice,” which details the rise and fall of Ailes as he built Fox News into a cable news behemoth, as well as his exit from the network following multiple sexual misconduct accusations. “It’s an important story,” said Levine. “There’s probably no one who has impacted American politics more in the last 20 years than Roger Ailes.”

Jana Winograde, Showtime’s other entertainment president, added that for a network like Showtime, which is not advertiser-supported, they look at other metrics beyond Nielsen performance when determining success. “There’s so many things that go into value, whether it’s awards or brand or attracting other talent to our network,” Winograde added. “We have people who are watching our shows over such a long period of time that it’s just not reflected in the ratings that tend to be paid attention to.”

Levine added he expects “Loudest Voice” to be a major player at next year’s Primetime Emmy Awards, much like “Escape From Dannemora” was this year. “I think it will stand the test of time and I think when awards come around, Russell Crowe and Naomi Watts are going to be heard from.”

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