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May 29, 2008

HBO's 'Recount' a Few Votes Short

Recount HBO might want to ask for a ratings recount.

The Sunday night premiere of its much-discussed original movie covering the 2000 presidential election fiasco was seen by a modest number of viewers when compared to the network's other high-profile projects. 

"Recount" was seen by 1 million HBO subscribers, which is on par with the network's last film, February's lesser-known Susan Sarandon telepic "Bernard and Doris."

Compared to recent HBO movie titles that received considerable media attention,"Recount" fares worse -- 1.9 million watched the first airing of last year's historical epic "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" and 1.5 million watched Queen Latifah in last year's "Life Support." The premiere of the March miniseries "John Adams" was seen by 2.5 million.

Interestingly enough, the "Recount" viewership is less than the actual number of disputed ballots in the Florida election (Al Gore initially asked for a hand recount of 1.8 million votes).

Last year's Jim Broadbent biopic "Longford" was seen by only 600,000 viewers, however, and later went on to win three Golden Globe awards.

Ratings for HBO movies also tend to quadruple in subsequent airings after their premieres.

Plus, "Recount" (and "Wounded Knee") aired over Memorial Day weekend, when audiences levels are lower than usual.

Starring Kevin Spacey and Laura Dern, "Recount" has received heavy media interest due to its retelling of the  election returns drama. According to Metacritic, the movie received generally favorable reviews and averaged a score of 66  out of 100.

UPDATE: The best "Recount" comments. Some highlights from the 400+ comments below.



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