From Scifiwire:

Ursula K. Le Guin, the best-selling SF writer and author of the beloved Earthsea series, has gone on the record blasting SCI FI Channel's recent adaptation of her books, Legend of Earthsea, which premiered earlier this week to record ratings. In commentaries on and elsewhere, Le Guin has called the four-hour miniseries "A Whitewashed Earthsea" and said that "SCI FI Channel wrecked my books."

Among other things, Le Guin complains that the miniseries, produced by Robert Halmi Sr. and directed by Robert Lieberman, changed the races of key characters and misinterpreted themes and events in her books. "The books, A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan, which were published more than 30 years ago, are about two young people finding out what their power, their freedom and their responsibilities are," Le Guin writes in Slate. "I don't know what the film is about. It's full of scenes from the story, arranged differently, in an entirely different plot, so that they make no sense."

Le Guin sold the rights to her books to the producers, and the deal gave her a "consultant" credit on the project. But she says she had virtually no input into the final product, which was adapted for the screen by screenwriter Gavin Scott (The Mists of Avalon).

Le Guin earlier took issue with comments by Lieberman in SCI FI Magazine, in which he attempted to interpret Le Guin's intentions in the books. Le Guin wrote on her official Web site that Lieberman put words into her mouth that missed the point of her books.

In response to Le Guin's comments, SCI FI Channel issued this statement: "We respect Ms. Le Guin's right to voice her opinion and we understand her frustrations. However, adapting two major novels down to four hours of television is highly challenging and requires significant reworking. That being said, we stand by the creative decisions we took in the spirit of her wonderful books...

Also of note:

SCI FI Channel's original miniseries Legend of Earthsea averaged a 3.2 rating (3.7 million viewers) in the two nights of its premiere, Dec. 13 and 14, the combined audience making the channel the top network in cable prime time. The channel was the number-one network in cable prime time in household ratings, among adults 18-49 and among viewers aged 25-54 for Earthsea's combined two-night run, the channel reported.

The Dec. 13 premiere of Legend Of Earthsea's part one earned a 3.0 household rating (3.44 million viewers) and was the highest-rated entertainment program on cable that Monday night. It ranked third overall among viewers aged 18-49 and 25-54.

The Dec. 14 premiere of Earthsea's finale was the number-one program on cable in both ratings and delivery among viewers aged 18-49 and 25-54. Part two delivered a 3.4 household rating (3.92 million), a 13 percent increase in ratings and a 14 percent increase in viewers from Monday's installment.

Legend of Earthsea delivered an aggregate audience of 7.35 million in its two-part premiere. The aggregate for all seven telecasts of Legend of Earthsea on Dec. 13 and 14 topped out at 13.2 million viewers.