Ratings for ABC Gay Rights Drama ‘When We Rise’ Tank After Two Episodes


ABC’s much-promoted new gay rights drama, When We Rise, is already proving to be a flop after drawing audiences way below the network’s primetime average, Variety has revealed.

The eight-part mini-series directed by Adi Hasak, which focuses on the activism of LGBT rights campaigners in the 20th century, has been the subject of criticism for seeking to depict middle America as homophobic and glorifying violence against the police in its portrayal of the 1969 Stonewall Riots.

On its premiere, the show attracted under 3 million viewers, which then fell by nearly a million viewers to 2.05 million viewers on its second part aired last Wednesday. It received a demo rating of 0.6.

To help boost ratings, ABC scheduled the latest episode of Modern Family, which also features themes of homosexuality and same-sex parenting, before the show’s second installment, although this did not prove effective.

When We Rise is not the first LGBT-orientated series to receive poor ratings. Shows including USA Network’s gay murder mystery series Eyewitness, (also directed by Hasak) as well as CBS’s Doubt, starring transgender actor Laverne Cox, were both canceled after their respective first season for failing to attract audiences.

Since taking office, President Donald Trump has pledged to uphold Barack Obama’s executive order protecting LGBT federal employees from discrimination. However, Trump has revoked Obama’s order instructing public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms not aligned with their biological sex.

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