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HBO's THE NORMAL HEART Premieres to 1.4 Million Viewers

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HBO's THE NORMAL HEART Premieres to 1.4 Million Viewers

According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO's THE NORMAL HEART premiered to over 1.4 million viewers on Sunday, May 25, with the first airing drawing nearly 1 million, and 434,000 tuning in for the second later that night.

THE NORMAL HEART debuted as the fifth most-watched HBO Films presentation, and as THR notes, the numbers should consistently rise over the next few days as DVR and HBO Go viewings are added to the count.

The drama stars Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons and Julia Roberts. The drama also stars Alfred Molina, Joe Mantello, Jonathan Groff, Denis O'Hare,Stephen Spinella, Corey Stoll, Finn Wittrock, and BD Wong.

Directed by Ryan Murphy and written by Larry Kramer, adapting his groundbreaking Tony Award-winning play of the same name, THE NORMAL HEART, tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS Crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, taking an unflinching look at the nation's sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial.

The film stars Academy Award nominee Mark Ruffalo ("The Kids Are All Right"), Matt Bomer ("White Collar"), Taylor Kitsch ("Lone Survivor"), Emmy(R) winner Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") and Academy Award winner Julia Roberts as well as Alfred Molina ("An Education"), Tony Award winner Joe Mantello ("Law & Order"), Jonathan Groff(HBO's "Looking"), Denis O'Hare (HBO's "True Blood"), Stephen Spinella ("Milk"), Corey Stoll ("House of Cards"),Finn Wittrock ("Unbroken"), and BD Wong (HBO's "Oz").

An HBO Films presentation of a Plan B and Blumhouse production in association with Ryan Murphy Productions, The Normal Heart is executive produced by Ryan Murphy, Dante Di Loreto ("Glee"), Jason Blum (the "Paranormal Activity" series), Brad Pitt ("Moneyball"), Dede Gardner ("12 Years a Slave"). Mark Ruffalo co-executive produces; Scott Ferguson (HBO's "Temple Grandin") produces.

In 1981, writer Larry Kramer hosted a gathering of six gay men and their friends to discuss the "gay cancer," and to talk about fundraising for research. This informal meeting in Kramer's home would lead to the formation of Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), one of the first advocacy groups for HIV prevention and care.

Kramer's play debuted at New York's Public Theatre in 1985 and was revived in Los Angeles and London, and off-Broadway. The 2011 Broadway revival garnered five Tony nominations, winning for Best Revival, Best Featured Actor and Best Featured Actress.

The talented behind-the-scenes team includes production designer Shane Valentino ("Beginners"), director of photography Danny Moder ("Jesus Henry Christ"), editor Adam Penn ("American Horror Story"), costume designer Daniel Orlandi (HBO's "Game Change"), composer Cliff Martinez ("Drive") and casting directors Amanda Mackey ("The Proposal") and Cathy Sandrich Gelfond ("Ronin").

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