Netflix says 'Ratched' is its top new series of the year and it's Ryan Murphy's first bonafide hit for the streaming giant

  • Netflix said on Friday that Ryan Murphy's "Ratched" was watched by 48 million members in its first 28 days, making it the streamer's biggest original first season of the year.
  • It's the first genuine Netflix hit for Murphy after he struck a deal worth up to $300 million with the streamer in 2018, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
  • His other Netflix original series, "The Politician" and "Hollywood," received poor reviews and didn't generate the kind of excitement audiences seem to have for "Ratched."
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Ryan Murphy finally has a Netflix hit.

Netflix said on Friday that the superstar producer's latest series for the streaming giant, "Ratched," was watched by 48 million members in its first 28 days, making it Netflix's biggest original first season of the year. Netflix counts a view if an account watches at least two minutes of a show or movie.

The series, which is a prequel to the Oscar-winning movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," also topped Nielsen's latest list of the top streaming shows for the week of September 14 to September 20, with 972 million minutes watched in the US.

The fact that "Ratched" has performed so well by Netflix's own metrics (which measure how many people started the series) and Nielsen's (which measure total minutes watched) suggests the series is a bonafide hit.

"Ratched" marks a big win for Netflix and Ryan Murphy's partnership after a tepid launch. Murphy landed a deal with the streamer in 2018 worth up to $300 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter, but "Ratched" is his first Netflix original series that the streamer has revealed viewership numbers for.

Both "The Politician" and "Hollywood" received poor reviews from critics with 48% and 57% Rotten Tomatoes critic scores respectively, and failed to generate the kind of enthusiasm audiences seem to have for "Ratched." The series also has a better (but still lukewarm) critic score of 61%.

"Paulson's conniving, manipulative, but occasionally tender-hearted character is fun to watch, especially playing against an absolutely wonderful Cynthia Nixon," Observer's Brandon Katz wrote.

Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.

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