“The Wheel of Time,” Amazon Prime Video’s latest high fantasy series starring Rosamund Pike, Kate Fleetwood and Madeleine Madden, clocked 1.16 billion viewing minutes during its debut week, making it the streamer’s most watched original series since 2020’s “Hunters.”
Per Nielsen’s Top 10 SVOD Lists, the show, based on Robert Jordan’s bestselling novels of the same name, premiered as the No. 1 original. The series also attracted a slightly older audience profile, with 65% of its watchers in the 35-64 age range — which makes sense, given that the book series began in 1990, spanning 14 volumes.
Per metrics released by Prime Video for the week of Nov. 15 to 21, “The Wheel of Time” was one of the top five launches of all time for the streamer, attracting tens of millions of eyeballs in its first three days. The company also noted in the announcement that the first novel in the “Wheel of Time” series, “The Eye of the World,” was in the Top 20 of Amazon’s Most Read Fiction chart during its premiere week.
“We are elated by the strong debut of ‘The Wheel of Time,’ one of our most-watched series premieres of all time,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, in the statement. “It’s a testament to everyone involved in the series — the incredible cast, led by Rosamund Pike, and our showrunner Rafe Judkins, and the entire team, who took viewers on a journey into a visually stunning world populated with diverse characters and cultures. It’s unlike any other fantasy series, and our customers all over the world are responding.”
Lucky for the fans that have tuned in, “The Wheel of Time” was renewed for a second season while it was producing its first in May 2021. Production for Season 2 began in Prague in July 2021, and the show was about halfway finished with principal photography as of late November.
“The Wheel of Time” was joined in Nielsen’s Top 10 SVOD Original Programming list with Netflix’s “Tiger King,” “The Great British Baking Show,” “You,” “Narcos: Mexico,” “Cowboy Bebop,” “Maid,” “Locke & Key” and “Hellbound.” “Tiger King” was also on Nielsen’s Top 10 SVOD Overall Programs, where “Red Notice” once again took the trophy, amassing 1.7 billion viewing minutes. “Tiger King,” meanwhile, generated 685 million minutes of viewing, a testament to the public’s ongoing fascination with Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin and their striped friends behind bars. “Red Notice” also took home the grand prize for Nielsen’s Top 10 Movies, but Disney Plus won the list on average, with a majority of its movies making the cut: “Jungle Cruise,” “Home Sweet Home Alone,” “Home Alone,” “Luca” and “Moana” accounted for 2.3 billion viewing minutes in aggregate.
Over on the Top 10 SVOD Acquired Programs are familiar titles from Nielsen data past: Nostalgia reins in viewers for “Seinfeld,” “Criminal Minds,” “NCIS,” “Greys Anatomy,” “Gilmore Girls” and “Supernatural,” while preschool musical series “Cocomelon” remains immensely popular.