Going Clear, HBO’s docu profiling eight former Church of Scientology members, clocked 1.65 million viewers in its Sunday premiere. The film opened theatrically in L.A., New York and San Francisco ahead of its HBO premiere and, of course, HBO does not issue same-day stats because, the network accurately insists, the stats are a very poor reflection of the performance of its product even on its own schedule. Many other networks also have stopped issuing these early stats for same reason.
Among viewers in the 18-49 demographic, the premium-cable network launch of the Alex Gibney docu logged 831,000 viewers. In total viewers, Going Clear’s initial bite on HBO logged the net’s best docu numbers since its February 2013 Beyonce: Life Is But A Dream, which averaged 1.8 million viewers in its network premiere.
Based on Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book detailing how Scientology cultivates members, Gibney’s docu spotlighted Scientology two years after the debut of Gibney’s documentary on the Catholic Church in 2012’s Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God, which also was an HBO film.