March 13, 2012 8:07am PT by Marisa Guthrie
'Game Change' Becomes HBO's Most-Watched Original Movie in Nearly Eight Years
NEW YORK -- All the controversy over the depiction of former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in HBO’s Game Change might have primed the pump.
The premiere of the telefilm last weekend attracted 2.1 million viewers, the most-watched original movie on HBO in nearly eight years. The last film to get more than 2 million viewers was Something the Lord Made, which pulled in 2.6 million in May 2004.
Across its four weekend plays, Game Change pulled in a gross audience of 3.6 million, according to HBO.
Palin, played by Julianne Moore in the film, is portrayed as an uninformed GOP running mate who thinks the queen is the head of state in England and the U.S. invaded Iraq because Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Based on the book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, Game Change makes liberal use of TIna Fey's infamous Saturday Night Live parodies of Palin.
The movie has endured sustained criticism from leading voices on the right, including John McCain (who is played by Ed Harris) and Palin herself, who said that Game Change "lapsed into a tired routine of manipulating facts and omitting key parts" of her story "in order to push a biased agenda and drive ratings."