Ted Sarandos: New Netflix Series ‘Wednesday’ Chasing ‘Squid Game’ for Global Viewership

Netflix’s new coming-of-age supernatural comedy horror series “Wednesday,” based upon the character Wednesday Addams from “The Addams Family,” continues to resonate with streamers worldwide.

Starring Jenna Ortega as the title character, the Tim Burton-produced series has become a global hit on track to match Netflix’s surprise South Korean behemoth “Squid Game,” which to date is the most-viewed program ever on the platform with more than 1.6 billion hours viewed.

Netflix Dec. 6 disclosed that “Wednesday” has generated more than 752 million hours of viewership since its Nov. 23 debut. The streamer says the show has been seen by more than 115 million subscriber homes to rank No. 3 on the all-time most-viewed shows in the first 28 days.

Co-CEO/chief content officer Ted Sarandos called out the show during an appearance at the UBS Global TMT confab in New York City.

“[‘Wednesday’] is chasing ‘Squid Game’ right now for the most-watched show in the world,” Sarandos said.

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He said the program’s success underscores Netflix ability to create localized content that appeals globally.

“Nobody has done that before,” Sarandos said, adding that subscriber engagement is key to Netflix’s ongoing content spending ($17 billion) and profitability.

The executive said that as “Wednesday” chases viewership benchmarks established by “Strange Things” season four (1.35 billion) and “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” (856 million), the show’s U.S. success is replicating internationally.

“It’s a top three show in Korea, India and Japan, which are all the places that really have a preference for local content,” Sarandos said. “So, we’re strengthening both our ability to make local content, but are even better doing it from just about anywhere. And having that emphasis on the local market helps us tremendously is storytelling from pretty much everywhere, which gives us a lot more variety in storytelling.”