‘The Witcher’ on Track to Be Netflix’s Biggest TV Show Premiere Ever

Netflix said “The Witcher,” the fantasy series starring Henry Cavill, is pacing to be its biggest first-season original TV series ever.

“The Witcher,” which debuted Dec. 20 on Netflix, was watched by 76 million customer households in the first four weeks of release, according to the company.

That would appear to mean that 46% of Netflix’s subscribers as of the end of 2019 watched “The Witcher” over that time span. But there’s a caveat with the household viewer number (which isn’t verifiable independently): Netflix changed the definition of what constitutes a viewer. Now, according to the company, it’s measuring accounts that “chose to watch and did watch for at least 2 minutes — long enough to indicate the choice was intentional.” Previously, Netflix reported viewing figures based on the number of accounts that had viewed a TV episode or movie to at least 70% completion.

“As a testament to how our hit content can penetrate the global zeitgeist and influence popular culture, the show’s launch drove up sales of ‘The Witcher’ books and games around the world, and spawned a viral musical hit,” the company said in its Q4 shareholder letter.

Based on the best-selling fantasy series, “The Witcher” tells the tale of Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress, and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together.

Meanwhile, Netflix released other cherry-picked viewing metrics for its originals slate (using the same criterion of a watching a title for at least 2 minutes):

  • Psychological thriller “You” Season 2 is tracking to be watched by 54 million member households in its first four weeks.
  • “The Crown” Season 3 was watched by over 21 million member households in the first four weeks (up over 40% from Season 2 over the same time period); in total, over 73 million households worldwide have watched “The Crown” since the series launched.

 

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