Thursday, May 30, 2024

URGENT: “Leaving Neverland” Second Night was a BUST With Fewer than 1 Million Viewers, Oprah Part Scored Just 780K


Yikes! The second night of “Leaving Neverland” was worse than the first.

Only 927.000 people watched. The audience didn’t break 1 million. Oprah’s “After Neverland” did worse–780,000.

Viewers rejected the stories of Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck. I’m amazed. I really thought this would be a blockbuster.

But the overall negativity and pointlessness of the documentary left audiences cold.

This is very important: no victim of sexual abuse should ever be disbelieved, or ignored. Everyone should share their stories, and there is no shame.

But “Leaving Neverland” broke several conventions of documentary. It functioned not as journalism but as a personal grudge. I expected lie detector tests to show the veracity of the claims. But there were none.

There was also no context provided. No medical or psychological expert to explain how Jackson could have been one way with so many other children, and this way with Safechuck and Robson.

Also, you can never underestimate the power of the Michael Jackson fans. They’ve organized before to fend off Jackson accusers. I’ve seen some pretty ill informed criticism of them by people who were in foreign territory.

Michael Jackson was no angel. I watched him do a lot of crazy and mean things over the years. He was terrible to his employees at Neverland and Hayvenhurst. He wasn’t so nice to the fans when his trial was over. They thought they’d be going to a picnic at Neverland. Michael just shut the gates and left.

There’s more to say, but for right now, it’s instructive to see how ratings bottomed out.


Thanks to Mitch Metcalf and for all numbers.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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