Showtime’s heavily promoted debut of Huff flopped in the ratings, drawing just 456,000 viewers, a mere 3% of the network’s subscriber base.
That’s just half the viewers and share Showtime’s L Word drew when it premiered earlier this year.
Huff, featuring Hank Azaria as a psychiatrist who begins questioning his life after a patient commits suicide in his office, is a major bet by Showtime to emulate rival HBO’s tremendous success in original programming.
The network had been trying to secure an audience with gay programming like Queer As Folk, but is trying to break out with broader programming.
A Showtime spokesman says that despite the heavy advertising push behind Huff, the network didn’t expect big ratings out of the gate and predicted viewership would build.