Television

Squid Game Sets Netflix Record, Crushing Bridgerton as Biggest Debut

Squid Game is a winner for Netflix.

Building on its reportedly solid initial launch, the Korean series about 456 people who are lured into playing (incredibly) deadly versions of children’s games now stands as the streaming giant’s most sampled debut ever, having reached 111 million accounts less than a month after its release. (Netflix counts two minutes of any program as a “view.”)

As such, Squid Game surpasses the period romance Bridgerton, which in its first four weeks was sampled by 82 million accounts.

Netflix announced the news on Tuesday with a montage from the show offering a “heartfelt thanks” to viewers for making it “our biggest series launch ever!”

Out of the gate, Squid Game became the first Korean original series to top Netflix’s consumer-facing Top 10 popularity chart, and it also was on track to be the company’s biggest non-English series of all time (besting Spain’s Money Heist). Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said in late September that there was “a very good chance it’s going to be our biggest show ever.”

Lupin in turn slips to third place (sampled by 76 million accounts), followed by The Witcher Season 1 (76 million) and Sex/Life Season 1 (67 million), while Stranger Things Season 3 (67 million) falls out of the Top 5.

Squid Game, which released nine episodes on Sept. 17, is described as “an imaginative, unorthodox story in which 456 contestants risk their lives in a mysterious survival game — involving multiple rounds of childhood games — for a chance to win 45.6 billion won” (or about US$40 million). Hwang Dong-hyuk (The Fortress) wrote and directed all nine episodes, while the cast features Lee Jung-jae (Chief of Staff), Park Hae-soo (Yungnyong-i Nareusya), Yeong-su Oh (The Great Queen Seondeok), Wi Ha-Joon (The Greatest Divorce), fashion model Jung Ho-yeon, Heo Sung-tae (Your Honor), Anupam Tripathi and Joo-ryeong Kim.

Check out a video from Netflix celebrating the milestone below, and drop your Squid Game thoughts and theories in the comments.

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