Showtime’s audience has had enough of froufrou escapism: Now it’s teen cannibals, serial killers and loads of way-too-realistic blood captivating viewers. According to the paycabler, “Yellowjackets” — the buzzy drama with a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes and plenty of fan theories — finished its first season this past Sunday as the second most-streamed series in Showtime’s history, behind the recently aired “Dexter: New Blood.”
The shocking and ominous “Yellowjackets” finale sent over a million shivers down watchers’ spines, amassing around 1.3 million viewers across platforms on Sunday alone, more than doubling its audience from the season premiere. Moreover, the series has averaged over 5 million weekly viewers across platforms, the highest for a debut series on Showtime since “Billions” dropped in 2016.
Over the course of the 10-episode freshman season, the streaming viewership for “Yellowjackets” quadrupled, Showtime said. The bloody drama was included on nearly 50 year-end “Best of” TV lists and last week it received WGA Award nods for best drama series and best new series. The psychological horror, coming-of-age story and survival saga was created by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson (“Narcos”), and is produced for Showtime by eOne. Lyle, Nickerson and Jonathan Lisco are executive producers.
“We are thrilled, to say the least, at the phenomenon that is ‘Yellowjackets,’” said Jana Winograde, president of entertainment, Showtime Networks, in a statement. “The wild success of the series in viewership and reviews has been exciting, but what’s been most exciting is watching ‘Yellowjackets’ explode in the collective zeitgeist — seeing the fans’ unbridled passion for the characters, endless theories about the mystery and even their abundant fan art. This kind of show is magic in a bottle, and we want to thank and congratulate Ashley, Bart, Jonathan and the entire cast and crew for the role they played in its creation. It’s a massive understatement to say that we can’t wait for next season.”
Along with “Dexter: New Blood,” “Yellowjackets” buoyed the most signups in Showtime’s history during the fourth quarter of 2021. Surprising no one, Showtime renewed “Yellowjackets” for Season 2 in December.
“Yellowjackets” centers on a high school girls soccer team who become the unlucky survivors of a plane crash deep in the remote northern wilderness, charting their hellish descent from thriving friends to savage clans. The show also tracks some of the survivors who have attempted to lead normal lives 25 years later, but events in the present-day point to the Yellowjackets not being out of the woods quite yet.
Season 1 stars Melanie Lynskey — who was nominated for a Critics’ Choice award for her portrayal of adult Shauna on the show — Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis, Tawny Cypress, Ella Purnell, Samantha Hanratty, Sophie Thatcher, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Sophie Nélisse, Steven Krueger and Warren Kole.
“Yellowjackets” is executive produced by showrunners Lyle, Nickerson and Jonathan Lisco, along with Drew Comins of Creative Engine and Karyn Kusama, who also directed the pilot episode.