With each passing year, we learn more and more about the viewership numbers coming out of Netflix. Long-held under some lock and key, the programming platform has begun to trickle out more ratings numbers, giving us some more insight into how certain programs perform through the service.
And Netflix has just released their best-performing original of 2020. It’s Ratched, the origin story of Nurse Mildred Ratched who we first met in the book and film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. This new show follows the early days of Ratched who ultimately becomes the antagonist to Randle Patrick (RP) McMurphy, the character made famous by Jack Nicholson in the 1975 film version.
It stars Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story) as the titular character who begins her time in St. Lucia hospital under somewhat benign circumstances. But it follows her rather dark journey as we begin to see the evolution of her own somewhat evil arc throughout. It’s a sleek and sinister show.
It’s of little surprise that Ratched has performed so well on Netflix considering it was developed by Ryan Murphy. He’s hit big numbers throughout his career with monster shows like Nip/Tuck, Glee, and the aforementioned American Horror Story. Murphy has consistently put out shows which combine high-level writing and production as well as broad commercial appeal even if they do trend dark and odd at times. Ratched is right in line with some of his previous work and is performing as such.
Released on September 16th of this year, Netflix is reporting 46 million views of Ratched as of October 16th. The viewership numbers were reported by Netflix on social media and, as of right now, are the only original program they released numbers for in 2020. We expect more information to come through considering last year they produced a more extensive list of reported viewership.
In 2019, Season 3 of Stranger Things claimed the mantle for most streamed Netflix Original show after it premiered on July 4th of that year. Others behind them on the list were shows like Season 7 of Orange Is the New Black, Lucifer’s third season, and Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why. In this way, it’s a solid sign for the platform that viewers continue to buy in on later iterations of different shows.
In terms of just overall on the Netflix platform, the Chris Hemsworth-led Extraction is the highest performer of the year (and all-time) at 99 million views with 2020’s Spenser Confidential not too far behind at 83 million views.
It’s worth noting here how Netflix counts and reports its viewership numbers for original shows. They consider views to be measured by an account watching at least 70% of a movie or episode. Though they’ve also reported at times, viewing numbers that include watching a certain percentage of the entire series as a way to calculate numbers across the platform.
And while Netflix does often front run with some of these numbers, often reporting only the best of the bunch they did have some notable shows get cancelled this year including The OA, I’m Not Okay With This, and most notably Altered Carbon with the news also that Ozark will end after Season 4.
We can expect more seasons of Ratched on Netflix after these reported numbers while we wait patiently to see the other shows that came in behind it.