Here’s why Stranger Things 4’s season 4 Netflix record for the most hours seen in a week for an English-language series was suddenly broken on Wednesday.
It’s excellent news for Netflix that Tim Burton’s Wednesday has officially surpassed Stranger Things season 4 in terms of viewership. Wednesday, which debuted on November 23, officially surpassed Netflix’s record for the most hours seen in a week for an English-language series, recording 341.2 million hours in its first seven days, according to a November 29 announcement. Stranger Things 4 previously held the impressive record for most hours watched with 335.1 million, which it achieved after its initial Netflix release on May 27. After Stranger Things’ fifth and final season, Netflix was looking for its next big franchise, and Wednesday has just risen to the occasion.
Since Stranger Things is regarded as Netflix’s premium original programming, Wednesday’s accomplishment was no small effort. Given the three-year anticipation, widespread excitement, and epic size of the later series, Wednesday snatching the ratings crown from Stranger Things is pretty surprising. However, aside from the actual caliber of storytelling and premise of the new Addams Family spinoff, Wednesday season 1 had many important elements that underscored the success of its launch. Wednesday’s unprecedented success can be largely attributed to its timing of release, episode count, and length, familiarity with the Addams Family series (which appealed to various generations with varying levels of nostalgia for previous adaptations), scream queen Jenna Ortega as the lead, and legendary director Tim Burton attached.
How long was Stranger Things 4? Reasons Wednesday trumped it
Wednesday, in contrast to Stranger Things season 4, debuted over the prolonged Thanksgiving holiday, when a sizable chunk of its target audience was at home and available to binge this family-friendly series. The first season of Tim Burton’s Addams Family was able to be properly viewed in one week because to the show’s eight about 45-minute episodes. Contrarily, Netflix chose a divisive release strategy for Stranger Things 4, breaking the season into two parts. As a result, the streaming service alienated some viewers who opted to wait until the full release.
The first seven episodes of Stranger Things season 4, part 1, have a combined runtime of about nine hours, with an hour and fifteen minute average episode duration. The first season of Wednesday, on the other hand, lasts for around 6.5 hours, making it easy to watch all of it in a one sitting. In contrast to Wednesday, when the season finale of the Disney+ series Andor competed for viewers with the long-awaited Stranger Things season 4 debut, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Top Gun: Maverick, and the Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi.
In the end, Wednesday offered a similar level of nostalgia, supernatural intrigue, and darkness to Stranger Things that appeal to a wide audience despite requiring no prior knowledge of the franchise prior to its premiere. The series only features Jenna Ortega, Gwendoline Christie, and Christina Ricci in the lead roles, with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán filling out the supporting cast. Nevertheless, Wednesday’s record-breaking viewership is quite impressive.
While this is going on, Winona Ryder and other well-known actors like them can be seen in Stranger Things, adding to the show’s appeal. Fans of the director’s gothic work undoubtedly attended Wednesday’s anticipated return of Tim Burton, whose films from the 2010s largely bombed with critics.
What Record-Breaking Viewership Means For Netflix On Wednesday
The fact that Stranger Things set a new record for viewership on Wednesday suggests that Netflix has finally found a suitable substitute for the Upside Down-battling series. Wednesday is another supernatural program that, in order to appeal to a wider audience, makes a crucial distinction with its gloom, provides nostalgia for many generations, and normalizes being an outsider. The popular Netflix series Stranger Things is ending after season 5 despite potential spinoffs being in the works, which inevitably signaled trouble for the streaming service, which was already having trouble keeping subscribers throughout 2022. After Stranger Things ends, Wednesday certainly seems to address this problem because Netflix has plenty of Addams Family franchise stories to choose from.
The second season of the Jenna Ortega-starring series Wednesday has not yet been formally renewed by Netflix, but due to its unprecedented success, Nevermore Academy will soon be back in action. The show’s strong Netflix success has now guaranteed a second season, which was skillfully teased in Wednesday’s season 1 conclusion. It also implies that Netflix might continue to produce The Addams Family spinoffs, perhaps focusing on young Gomez and Morticia Addams as Nevermore Academy students or going even further back to earlier iterations of the eccentric family. After Stranger Things, Netflix was missing another major franchise to further adapt, and spinoffs of The Addams Family made more sense than offshoots of the latter.
Due to Wednesday’s success, Netflix’s upcoming blockbuster movie will be enormous
The next major Netflix release after Wednesday season 1 is Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. The movie is a follow-up to Rian Johnson’s famous 2019 murder mystery Knives Out, which included an A-list ensemble including the famed investigator Benoit Blanc played by Daniel Craig. On December 23, Glass Onion will be available on Netflix, just in time for yet another busy holiday. Given that Stranger Things’ record-breaking viewership was stolen by Wednesday’s Thanksgiving release, Glass Onion’s Christmas release is likely to do the same for Netflix and could end up being the streaming service’s most watched movie of all time.