We knew the show was a hit. Now we have the numbers to prove it.
Tiger King
Joe Exotic in season 1 of 'Tiger King'
| Credit: Netflix
Tiger King

Netflix's Tiger King has dominated the virtual water-cooler discussions, but now we know just how big of a hit it really became.

The streaming platform's docuseries about Joe Exotic and all the wild characters populating the world of exotic animals garnered 34.3 million unique viewers in the U.S. within the show's first 10 days of being on Netflix, according to the ratings trackers at Nielsen. That's more than Stranger Things season 2, which saw 31.2 million unique viewers in the same time frame, but less than the horror fantasy's third season, which saw 36.3 million unique viewers.

Nielsen chalks it up, in part, to the coronavirus. Because states implemented self-isolation/shelter-in-place measures over the past few weeks to stunt the spread of COVID-19, people have been staying inside and turning to their home entertainment setups for amusement.

The numbers show how much the show's audience has grown. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness premiered on Netflix on March 20, and saw an average minute audience of 280,000 U.S. viewers. By the end of the weekend, that number rose to nearly 2.4 million. Nielsen also attributes its rise to word of mouth on social media and Netflix's constant homepage promotion. A rep for Twitter noted Tiger King became the most talked about show on the platform in the week following its debut.

Nielsen currently doesn't track streaming viewers outside of the U.S., so this doesn't account for Tiger King's global reach. Netflix, as we know, also records metrics for its shows in a much different way than Nielsen.

Directed and executive produced by Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, the seven-part docuseries follows Joe Exotic, a hillbilly exotic animal zookeeper in Oklahoma. He had multiple husbands, he tried running for president in 2016, and he also went to prison for a murder-for-hire plot against a rival zookeeper in Florida, Carole Baskin. She, in turn, is the subject of local rumors that claim she may or may not have fed her ex husband, who disappeared mysteriously, to her animals. Baskin denies these rumors and has since come out against the documentary.

And these are just two of the (pun intended) wild characters featured in the docuseries.

Jeff Lowe, another face from Tiger King, said recently that a new episode is on the way very soon. Investigation Discovery is also prepping a follow-up series about Baskin's missing husband. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

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Tiger King
Tiger King

A docuseries about eccentric individuals involved in private tiger zoos, including the colorful and controversial former zookeeper Joe Exotic, who was sentenced to 22 years for hiring a hitman to kill his nemesis, Carole Baskin.

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