Tiger King has clawed its way to the top of Netflix’s viewing charts.
Released last month, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness follows the exploits of Joe Exotic, a prolific tiger breeder who once ran a zoo in Oklahoma.
While Joe was sentenced to 22 years in jail for plotting to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin and other wildlife violations, the shocking programme was an instant hit with fans amid the coronavirus lockdown, having reached a U.S. TV audience of 34.3 million unique viewers within the first 10 days of its release, according to Nielsen estimates.
The figures, registered from 20 to 29 March, top those for season two of Netflix hit Stranger Things, which scored 31.2 million viewers, and fell only slightly behind season three of the programme, which drew in 36.3 million over the comparable 10-day span.
Tiger King has become a global phenomenon, with producers at 20th Century Fox reportedly in the early stages of planning a movie based on the series.
Several other spin-off projects are in the works, including one featuring Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon as Carole.
Recently speaking to People magazine, Joe’s former employee, Kelci ‘Saff’ Saffery, opened up on his boss’ fixation with his adversary.
“Carole was the first thing on his mind every morning and the last thing on his mind every night,” Saff said.
While John Finlay, Joe’s ex-husband, added: “Joe had a really bad hatred towards Carole Baskin and a lot of us knew it was going to head in a bad direction… A lot of people told him he needs to stop or slow down and think about what’s going on.”
However, in a phone interview with Netflix from jail following the success of the show, Joe insisted he’s “done with the Carole Baskin saga” and is looking ahead to being released from prison.