'Bonnie and Clyde' Miniseries Draws 9.8M Viewers to A&E

Image: 'Bonnie and Clyde' Miniseries Draws 9.8M Viewers to A&E Actors Emile Hirsch, left, and Holliday Grainger

Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 08:15 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Sunday's installment of A&E's four-part miniseries "Bonnie & Clyde" scored big ratings, drawing 9.8 million viewers, despite complaints that the series was filled with historical inaccuracies.

United Press International reported that "Bonnie & Clyde" was the third highest rated cable miniseries since 2006, behind the "Hatfield & McCoys," which drew 14 million, and "The Bible," which brought in 13.1 million on their first nights.

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"Bonnie & Clyde" was syndicated on the Lifetime and History channels as well.

While the series is drawing sizable ratings, critics say that the series is not accurate.

"Many critics are appalled, particularly because the four-part docudrama is also being televised on the History Channel," E! News reported. "But B&C's head writers aren't having any of it, insisting that they have every right to take creative license in order to tell a great story."

"Bonnie & Clyde" co-writer John Rice told The Wrap that the goal was not to make a documentary, but to tell an entertaining story.

"My favorite movie was 'Amadeus' and it exposed me to Mozart by making a drama where there's a lot of truth and there's a lot of conceit that probably isn't true in any way at all," Rice said.  "But, it worked as a movie and made us aware of this man's life. We like to say there are 57 truths in Bonnie and Clyde that people don't know anything about.

"Other movies didn't get four hours of screen time to tell all the truths. Our conceit is based on truth for both of the characters, that everything is 100 percent true is probably not true… There's so much that we get to tell by shaping it as a drama that adheres first to a story that people want to watch as opposed to a historical retelling in a chronological order," Rice added.

Still, critics pounced, claiming that the story's premise of Clyde Barrow being led astray by Bonnie Parker wonders too far from history.

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