The highly anticipated third season of The Witcher faced a disappointing viewership turnout during its premiere weekend. Despite receiving positive reviews, the series struggled to retain its audience, recording significantly lower viewership compared to previous seasons.
Within the first five episodes released last Thursday, the new season accumulated 73 million hours of watch time, equivalent to 15.2 million views. These numbers reflect the viewership data from the first four days following the show’s premiere.
A Decline in Viewership Compared to Season 2
The viewership of The Witcher Season 3 falls far behind its predecessor. In December 2021, the second season garnered 142.43 million hours of watch time within the first three days, covering a span of eight episodes.
Despite promises to adhere more closely to the source material and requests from showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, the departure of Henry Cavill and the creative choices made in the new episodes failed to entice viewers back, leading to criticism from many fans.
Comparisons to Other Netflix Hits
When compared to other successful Netflix series this year, The Witcher Season 3’s viewership pales in comparison. It lags significantly behind the second season of Ginny & Georgia (180.4 million hours), Night Agent (168.7 million hours), the third season of Outer Banks (154.9 million hours), Queen Charlotte: A Tale from the World of Bridgertons (148.2 million hours), Kaleidoscope (112.3 million hours), the fourth season of You (92 million hours), and Fubar (88.9 million hours).
However, it is worth noting that The Witcher outperformed the second season of Vikings: Valhalla (55.3 million hours), the second season of Shadow and Bone (50.4 million hours), the second season of Gourmet (48.3 million hours), and the sixth season of Black Mirror (58.7 million hours). Despite these comparisons, the declining viewership of The Witcher is cause for concern, as it was anticipated to be one of Netflix’s flagship franchises.
Factors Affecting Viewership and Future Prospects
The division of the third season into two parts posed a challenge for The Witcher, as some viewers may be waiting until all episodes are available to begin watching. Additionally, the holiday period may have played a role in the lower viewership, as some potential viewers may have postponed watching the episodes due to vacations and travel.
A more comprehensive understanding of the viewership will only emerge after the premiere of the second part of the third season, scheduled for July 27 on Netflix.
Interestingly, the premiere of the new season resulted in the first season of The Witcher reentering the list of the top ten most-watched English-language Netflix series last week. The first season secured the tenth spot on the list, accumulating 17.2 million hours of watch time. Notably, the second season did not achieve the same viewership and did not make the list.
The future of The Witcher remains uncertain as viewership numbers dwindle, and the response to the second part of the third season will shed further light on its prospects.