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HBO's 'Mildred Pierce' with Kate Winslet opens to disappointing ratings

Katewinslet HBO had Oscar winner Kate Winslet and some good reviews, but that wasn't enough to turn "Mildred Pierce" into a ratings star.

Sunday's premiere of the miniseries -- based on James M. Cain's 1941 novel about the travails of a Depression-era housewife -- delivered just 1.3 million total viewers, according to the Nielsen Co.

That was on the low end for a HBO miniseries. The historical drama "John Adams" premiered to 2.5 million viewers back in 2008. "Mildred Pierce" was on par with "Generation Kill," the 2008 miniseries about the Iraq war, which featured no big-name stars.

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Photo: Kate Winslet in "Mildred Pierce." CredIt: Andrew Schwartz / HBO

Comments () | Archives (41)

I don't get HBO, so I will have to wait until it comes out on DVD, just like I had to wait for John Adams to come out on DVD. My cable bill is high enough.

I watched it and Kate Winslet is one of my favorite actresses, but this was definitely NOT as good as the Joan Crawford movie, which was just aired on Saturday night on TCM. In my opinion, it was just too slow and the "Veda" character was too nice compared to Ann Blyth's performance. This is one more reason I'm against "remakes", especially remakes of great movies!

I am with you Katherine. Love Kate Winslet and I definitely want to see this but I will wait till it comes out on DVD. My life will go on; I don't have to see it NOW. Gotta use my money for other things, like basic cable which IS expensive enough.

I found the scenes to be unnecessarily drawn out, to the point of boring.
I don't know anything about the book or other movies so I can honestly say that this mini series did not capture my attention. Right from the very beginning I wanted to "push it along".
It's been easy for me to anticipate what's going to happen next. If I do watch the rest of this (ugh) it will have to be when there is nothing else to do at the time. It just does not hold my attention.
I will watch for posts from someone liking it.........

I'm glad HBO made this, this is the type of fare I subscribe for!

I watched the original on TMC on Saturday night to refresh my memory of the movie, then watched the new one Sunday. The HBO version I suspect is a literal translation of the book, while the Warner Bro./JC was a Hollywood glam version. As much as I liked the original, I think the remake is a very well done period piece. I am really enjoying it. Two thumbs up! Can't wait for the next three parts.

Yea, like tk said, this isn't a remake of anything, rather a direct translation of Cain's novel...the old movie of Mildred Pierce was just Hollywood melodrama. I think the acting and attention to detail in the miniseries are amazing. Kate Winslet...you rock.

It's much closer to the book than the movie. And, believe it or not, Veda's murder of Monte was the Code acceptable version. In the book, and I understand the HBO version, it's a much more shocking thing.

Wow, I'm glad I looked this up. I had no idea what I was watching - just came across it in my search for something interesting to watch. When the credits began to roll almost immediately after her daughter, Rae, dies, I was stunned and couldn't believe that could be the end. Now I see it isn't and I'll have to go back to it.

....That being said, I really enjoyed the movie and was really caught up in it until that moment.

I found the first 2 parts to be flat and humourless. Cain's book has snappy dialogue which is not being used correctly in this script. Yeah, it looks amazing, but the acting is heavy, laden with "drama" and no one looks like they're having fun.

I don't have HBO either, witch I was so upset about, cause I'm a big fan of Kate Winslet. So like everyone else, have to wait til its on DVD. I'm not surprised it got low ratings, cause the way the world is right now, alot people can't afford HBO. But when she is on the big screen, watch out cause she's bigger than ever.

I thought the HBO production of MP was really good-and Kate was AMAZING. I imagine ratings might be low because this sort of story did not appeal to a bigger percentage of HBO subscribers and with this economy, a lot of people have dropped their HBO cable to save money. Ratings or not (I find ratings to be overrated, pun intended) I enjoyed it and I am looking forward to the rest of the series. Kate's acting alone is worth the watch, even if your not crazy about the story or the annoying daughter. I look forward to Evan Rachel Wood's entree to the series this Sunday as she is also another wonderful young actress. I applaud HBO for doing the series regardless.

i really liked this first two part miniseries. sorry it didnt get bettter ratings and so many peole were disappointed i plan to watch it again

i think people should put spoiler alert at the top of their posts i have not seen the old movie nor read the book

Oh....spoiler. Not all of us have read the book or seen the earlier film.

I enjoyed it, mostly for Kate Winslet's performance. The beginning was a bit slow, but Kate is amazing, and I think as a period piece it's interesting to watch and well done.
Not surprised by the low ratings either, I think this has a much smaller target audience, plus I know a lot of people cancel their HBO when their favorite shows aren't airing. None of their big shows are airing at the moment, so I'd suspect subscriptions are at a low right now.

There's a whole generation of viewers who have not read the book or seen the film...have some consideration!!!

That being said (and I have read the James Cain book and seen the film) I thought it was brilliant in every way (costumes, set design, everything!!) and cannot wait for the next installment.

I watched the original on TCM the night before and while not a fan of Joan Crawford, deifinitely far superior than the remake. Can see why ratings are not that great, will watch the rest, but for the most part Kate did not fit the bill as Mildred. It is a shame actually Melissa Leo would have been the better choice rather than as her neighbor. Will be glad to see Evan Rachel Wood, she may liven it up as the older Veda, although young Veda is good as well. Sometimes remakes are not necessary and make sure on the casting first.

"No action? No explosions? No highly-compacted melodrama? This show is as slow as a slug high on pot!" That's what all you whiners sound like when you complain about this wonderful mini-series. HBO shows that they have a pair big enough to give the BBC a run for its money, and we cry bloody murder...in typical American fashion.

I have seen the original a few times and love it. I find the remake really drags. This Veda also just does not strike the right chord. I kept on wondering when it would pick up.

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