New figures show that in its second week on Netflix, Shadow & Bone was the number 1 most streamed show in the U.S. with a massive viewership record.
New figures show that Netflix’s fantasy series, Shadow and Bone, has topped streaming charts in the U.S. with a massive 1.192 billion minutes worth of viewership in its second week of release. Based on the best-selling Grishaverse novels by young adult author, Leigh Bardugo, the 8-episode Netflix adaptation has quickly been garnering praise from fans and critics alike for its imaginative storytelling and richly detailed production. Helmed by Eric Heisserer, screenwriter of Netflix’s Bird Box, the first season premiered on April 23.
Combining the narrative threads of the first Shadow and Bone novel in the Grisha trilogy, as well as providing a prequel story for the characters featured in the connected Six of Crows duology, the series follows the character of Alina Starkov, a military cartographer who is revealed to be the long-prophesied “Sun Summoner” and the only hope to reunite her divided nation. Borrowing elements from 19th-century Czarist Russian culture and folklore, the series is a sharp departure from what most audiences consider as the setting for an epic fantasy series. Featuring a talented cast that includes Jessie Mei Li as the lead Alina Starkov, and The Punisher’s Ben Barnes as General Kirigan, the first season currently boasts an 87% Fresh critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
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Most recently, Deadline also reports that the Netflix fantasy epic has managed to top the Nielsen streaming viewership rankings, beating out Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale for the number 1 spot for the week of April 26 to May 2. In the prior week, the show had even managed to debut in the number 3 slot, just below Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, after only being available for three days of that week. The results of the Nielsen rankings, which measure TV-based views on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+ throughout the U.S., are delayed by a month by an agreement with the streaming services.
While those numbers are good news for Netflix, given the rave reviews Shadow and Bone seem to have garnered at the time of its release, they probably come as no surprise for fans who have been loudly proclaiming the show’s many virtues since its debut. With the void left by the 2019 conclusion of Game of Thrones, nearly every streaming service is scrambling to be the first to find the next big fantasy series that will capture peoples’ attention. With shows like Amazon’s Lord of the Rings and Wheel of Time, and HBO’s House of the Dragon still a little way off, Netflix has managed to slip in ahead and strike while the iron is hot with both The Witcher and Shadow and Bone.
At the moment, there is no word about a potential release date for Shadow and Bone season 2, and Netflix is yet to even officially announce its renewal. However, given its strong viewership performance and positive critical reception, it is probably a safe bet there will be many more episodes to come. Until then, fantasy fans also have the upcoming The Witcher season 2 to tide them over until they hear more.
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