TV Ratings: HBO's 'The Normal Heart' Fetches 1.4 Million in Premiere

The AIDS drama, from Ryan Murphy and based on Larry Kramer's acclaimed 1985 play, aired on Sunday of the holiday weekend.
"The Normal Heart"

A total of 1.4 million viewers tuned in to HBO's opening night of The Normal Heart.

By HBO telepic standards, The Normal Heart's launch was slightly unconventional -- airing on a Sunday of the Memorial Day weekend. The first telecast, at 9 p.m., pulled in just shy of 1 million viewers and added 434,000 later in the evening.

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It's a solid showing for the sobering subject matter. Ryan Murphy's directorial debut for the pay cable network is based on Larry Kramer's 1985 play of the same name. It chronicles the early days of the AIDS epidemic in New York City. Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch and Julia Roberts are included in the buzzy cast -- and it's already earning the obligatory Emmy buzz.

As it stands, The Normal Heart premiere ranks fifth in viewership among the 17 HBO Films originals to premiere since 2010. Expect a significant boost once time-shifting and HBO Go views are taken into account. The network is seeing an increased percentage of its audience come in from its official app.