Tiger King is a Stranger Things-level hit for Netflix, according to Nielsen

Joe Exotic.
(Image credit: Netflix)

All hail Tiger King.

Netflix's new documentary series, which follows the strange story of zoo operator Joe Exotic and his feud with activist Carole Baskin, drew a massive 34.3 million unique U.S. viewers in its first 10 days of release, according to new numbers released by Nielsen.

For comparison, Nielsen says this surpasses the 31.2 million unique viewers who watched the second season of Stranger Things in its first 10 days, reports Variety. It's also not too far off from the 36.3 million unique viewers who watched Stranger Things' third season in that time frame, although it seems safe to assume subscribers being stuck at home in coronavirus quarantine boosted the Tiger King numbers.

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The Nielsen data shows how the series gradually built up buzz after its March 20 debut, Variety notes, as it had an average minute audience of 280,000 in the U.S. on its first day, but by its third day, its average minute audience was more than one million, and by its ninth day, the number reached four million. Netflix hasn't released its own viewership numbers for Tiger King, and TV Line notes Nielsen's figures don't account for those who watch on mobile devices or computers.

As Netflix subscribers go wild over Tiger King, don't expect this to be the end of the Joe Exotic craze. One of the series' subjects, Jeff Lowe, has claimed a whole new episode is coming shortly, although no one at Netflix has said if that's true. Meanwhile, a follow-up series from Investigation Discovery is on the way as the Tiger King Cinematic Universe continues.

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