Thursday, May 19, 2022

Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Bridgerton’ series a major hit for Netflix

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“Bridgerton,” a period drama from producer Shonda Rhimes, is on its way to being one of the biggest hits in Netflix history.

The series will be viewed by 63 million households in its first four weeks, marking the fifth-largest debut of any show on the service, Netflix said Monday. If the program stays on its current course, it will narrowly eclipse “The Queen’s Gambit” as Netflix’s most-watched show in recent months. However, it will be far from the Spanish detective series “Money Heist” and the documentary “Tiger King” as the most watched programs in 2020.

The show’s popularity helps validate Netflix’s costly decision to lure Rhimes away from his longtime home to Walt disney Co. He pledged more than $ 100 million to persuade Rhimes, the creator of “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” to join the company. She is the executive producer of “Bridgerton,” based on novels by Julia Quinn about the eponymous family’s efforts to navigate London’s high society. The show was created by longtime Rhimes collaborator Chris Van Dusen.

Rhimes, 50, forged a trail that has since been followed by many other mega-producers, including Ryan Murphy. But as Murphy was producing show after show – drawing lukewarm reviews and lukewarm audiences – Rhimes took over three years to release his first Netflix project. It seems it was worth the wait.

“Bridgerton” was Netflix’s # 1 show in 76 countries, including the United States, and reached the top 10 in all countries other than Japan.

Netflix counts anyone who watches two minutes of a program as a viewer. While that inflates its numbers, the approach still offers more transparency than what most other streaming services provide.

The Los Gatos, Calif., Based company also said its December and Christmas audience set records, both in terms of total hours and average per subscriber.

More to read absolutely technological coverage of Fortune:

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