Variety is reporting that Nielsen has revealed Netflix’s Tiger King drew in a U.S. audience of 34.3 unique viewers within the first 10 days of its release on the streamer. The massive numbers beat out the second season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, which reached 31.2 million unique viewers in its first 10 days, and fell slightly short from the third season of Stranger Things, which drew 36.3 million over its first 10 days.
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In Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, among the eccentrics and cult personalities in the stranger-than-fiction world of big cat owners, few stand out more than Joe Exotic, a mulleted, gun-toting polygamist and a country-western singer who presides over an Oklahoma roadside zoo. Charismatic but misguided, Joe and an unbelievable cast of characters including drug kingpins, conmen, and cult leaders all share a passion for big cats, and the status and attention their dangerous menageries garner. But things take a dark turn when Carole Baskin, an animal activist and owner of a big cat sanctuary, threatens to put them out of business, stoking a rivalry that eventually leads to Joe’s arrest for a murder-for-hire plot and reveals a twisted tale where the only thing more dangerous than a big cat is its owner.
The 7-part true crime documentary series was directed by Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin. It is executive produced by Chris Smith, Fisher Stevens, Goode, and Chaiklin. Since its release, the docuseries became an instant phenomenon and had earned a rating of 93% at Rotten Tomatoes.
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Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings, which track Netflix and Amazon Prime Video viewing, provide a third-party measure of viewing on streaming services. But they’re not a complete picture: Nielsen’s figures are extrapolated estimates that measure only programming watched on connected TVs (excluding mobile devices and PCs) and only among U.S. viewers.