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Netflix thinks an epic foreign drama is about to eclipse ‘Tiger King’ in viewership

Published Apr 21st, 2020 10:47PM EDT
Money Heist
Image: XanderSt/Shutterstock

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  • Are you tired of Tiger King yet? That’s the massively successful and buzzy Netflix series which garnered a huge viewership in the weeks following its launch — some 64 million households, to be exact, Netflix announced on Tuesday.
  • But even though the docu-series has proven to be a ubiquitous pop culture phenomenon, the streamer is now predicting that another hot Netflix original (the Spanish-language drama Money Heist, about a group of criminals who get together to pull off an epic heist, is about to eclipse Tiger King’s viewership in a matter of days.)
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I was waiting for this to happen. Tiger King and all its inherent insanity wasn’t going to stay the most-watched TV show on Netflix forever, as much as Joe Exotic might have hoped all of us wouldn’t get tired of his unhinged escapades and his near-blood feud with Carole Baskin.

In its new quarterly letter to shareholders distributed on Tuesday, Netflix offered a rundown of how much its business (no surprise) has soared thanks to all of us being stuck at home right now because of the coronavirus, such that Netflix added a whopping 15.77 new customers in the first quarter of this year. Those are among the new customers who helped make Tiger King the hit that it was. Meanwhile, the streaming giant also offered some viewership data for some of its newest hit series — like Tiger King, which Netflix said 64 million households watched in the first four weeks it was available on the service. For most of that time, the series has been one of Netflix’s hottest, most-watched shows. However, by the end of this month, there’s another Netflix original — a Spanish-language drama about a group of criminals who get together to pull off an epic heist — that’s projected to reach an even bigger viewership than Tiger King.

Money Heist is the series, a show that’s won just about every award possible in its home country and which Netflix is estimating, per its newest shareholder letter, will have racked up a viewership of 65 million households by the end of this month (about 1 million more than Tiger King). Here’s the trailer for Season 4 of Money Heist, in case you haven’t checked it out yet:

The series, the title of which in Spanish is La Casa de Papel, has held a spot in the streamer’s own rankings of the Top 10 shows in the US since the day after it was released. At the time of this writing, it was ranked as more popular than The Office on Netflix.

The show follows a group of bank robbers who are picked and put together by a character known as “The Professor” with a goal of robbing the Royal Mint and the Bank of Spain. That sets the stage for a show that’s a compulsively binge-able thrill ride and definitely deserving of a spot on your quarantine watch list right now. And it’s exactly this kind of show that helped Netflix achieve such a record performance in the just-ended quarter.

“As people shelter at home, our hope is that we can help make that experience more bearable by providing a diverse range of high-quality content for our members,” the new shareholder letter reads. “While our productions are largely paused around the world, we benefit from a large pipeline of content that was either complete and ready for launch or in post-production when filming stopped.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.