Tiger King Draws 34 Million Viewers Per Nielsen, Right Behind Stranger Things

Tiger King Ratings 34 Million

Netflix’s Tiger King as suspected delivered a grrrrrrrreat big audience for Netflix, at least according to Nielsen.

As relayed by our sister site Variety, the seven-part docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness drew 34.3 million total unique viewers in the U.S. over its first 10 days of release (starting March 20). That’s within five percent of Netflix buzz king Stranger Things, which with its third season in the same span of time amassed 36.3 million viewers.

Interestingly, the Nielsen data indicates Tiger King was a late-ish bloomer, reporting an “average minute audience” of 280,000 viewers on its first day of release, but swelling in that measure to four million by Day 9. Note, Nielsen only estimates U.S. viewership via connected TVs, not counting mobile devices or laptop computers.

Netflix has yet to tout — as it occasionally does with very select programming (and counting exposure to any two minutes as a “view”) — any Tiger King numbers.

Tiger King explores “the eccentrics and cult personalities in the stranger-than-fiction world of big cat owners,” where “few stand out more than ‘Joe Exotic’ (aka Joseph Maldonado-Passage), a mulleted, gun-toting polygamist and country western singer who presides over an Oklahoma roadside zoo.” As the docuseries unfolds, things take a dark turn when Carole Baskin, an animal activist and owner of her own big cat sanctuary, threatens to put Joe Exotic’s zoo out of business, stoking a rivalry that eventually leads to — SPOILER ALERT! — an arrest for a murder-for-hire plot.

Maldonado-Passage is currently serving 22 years in the clink, having been convicted on 17 federal charges of animal abuse as well as two counts of murder for hire.