The Witcher on Netflix was a big success, and not just among people who fav-and-share images of muscular white-haired men in bathtubs. (You know what I'm talking about.) Netflix said in a letter to shareholders released today as part of its Q4 2019 earnings report that it might be its most successful first-season show ever.
"During December, we also launched The Witcher, which is tracking to be our biggest season one TV series ever. Through its first four weeks of release, 76 million member households chose to watch this action-packed fantasy, starring Henry Cavill," Netflix wrote. "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."
By way of comparison, Netflix said that more than 21 million people chose to watch the third season of the award-winning historical drama The Crown, a 40 percent increase over the second season, while the second season of the "global phenomenon" psychological thriller You is expected to draw more than 54 million viewers in its first four weeks.
The measure of households that "chose to watch" the show is a little arbitrary: Netflix defines it as viewing for at least two minutes, "long enough to indicate the choice was intentional," and not just a brief halt on the channel surfing safari to go get more Fritos. That leaves open the possibility of viewers who watched for ten minutes, decided they hated it, and moved on to NCIS: Los Angeles, but the line has to be drawn somewhere and I guess the point of intent is as good a place as any.