ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

Netflix’s new number one show is a legit viral hit

Word of mouth is bringing this show to a continually expanding audience

Netflix’s new number one show is a legit viral hit
Andrew Williams
24 April 2024

No. 1 Netflix TV shows and movies come and go like patrons at a fast food drive-in, but this latest one is a little bit special.

Baby Reindeer is what we consider to be a legit viral hit, whose popularity appears to have snowballed across its first two weeks on stream. That’s a rarity today, when success so often seems measured in what happens over the first couple of days.

It has reached the global number one spot for TV at Netflix, according to Flixpatrol, creeping its way up the charts in many territories rather than zinging right to the top — as it did in creator Richard Gadd’s own UK.

We see this pattern again in the official stats released by Netflix. In its first week on stream, Baby Reindeer only made it to number 5 on Netflix’s own global chart. But it’s now at the number one spot, with a five-fold increase in the number of hours watched, up to a respectable 52.8 million.

Netflix’s new number one show is a legit viral hit

Would we be impressed by those numbers if they were attached to 3 Body Problem or One Piece? Absolutely not, but Baby Reindeer is a more unusual show made with just a fraction of the budget. We imagine Netflix is delighted.

It’s a great show too. As we reported last week, Baby Reindeer achieved a rare feat, a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score. And that still stands today.

There may be another reason behind Baby Reindeer’s vitality, though.

The show is about Richard Gadd’s real-life experiences of stalking. But its popularity has led to viewers, and commentators, seeking the identity of that person.

Gadd has spoken out on Instagram, pleading viewers not to do so.

“Please don't speculate on who any of the real-life people could be. That's not the point of our show. Lots of love, Richard,” he wrote.

Baby Reindeer is a dark comedy, not a true crime dramatisation. It’s absolutely worth a watch if you haven’t caught up with it yet too. There are seven episodes, each clocking in at between 28 and 45 minutes. This one is not a major time commitment.