The unexpected passing of Fox News founder Roger Ailes in 2017 brought out a variety of hostile headlines from news organizations. The press attacked him even in death.
“Roger Ailes is dead, his scourge will live for decades,” The Washington Post wrote at the time.
“Roger Ailes‘ life work was making paranoid creeps look like virtuous men,” Slate noted.
Such negative portrayals appear to be continuing in a new Showtime biography series, “The Loudest Voice,” about the late media kingpin and former adviser to then-President Richard M. Nixon. Not many viewers, however, were interested in such fare.
According to Nielsen Media Research, the series premiered on Sunday before a total of 299,000 viewers. In the much-coveted 18- to 34-year-old and 18-49 demographic, the series only averaged 8,000 and 26,000 viewers, respectively.
That is far below for another cable premiere: Season two of HBO Prime’s “Big Little Lies” on June 19, for example, which enjoyed an audience of 1.5 million.
In advance publicity, Showtime said the series would depict Ailes as the “defacto leader” of the Republican Party.
“The series also touches on defining events in Ailes‘ life, including his experiences with world leaders that gave birth to his political career, and the sexual harassment accusations and settlements that brought his Fox News reign to an end,” the cable channel said.
“The Loudest Voice’s premiere comes after months of press about the expose on Ailes building Fox News into a right-wing mouthpiece and his years of abuse against women,” the Hollywood Reporter wrote.
“Despite an all-star cast including Russell Crowe, Naomi Watts and Seth MacFarlane, Showtime’s ‘The Loudest Voice’ premiered to unspectacular figures,” Variety said.
“As has proven to be the case with a number of their shows in the past, the premium cabler is clearly counting on ‘Loudest Voice’ having an extended lifespan and gaining traction through more encores, delayed viewing and online streaming. That may turn a whisper to a scream, as that Icicle Works song says — maybe,” wrote Deadline Hollywood analyst Dominic Patten.
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