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TV ratings are a funny thing. While traditional TV and cable networks rely on them to dictate programming, streaming services can do things a bit differently. Their data is private, so places like Hulu and Netflix don't have to share their ratings and popularity with the general public. As such, it's unclear exactly how well Netflix's shows do with their subscribers. Third party monitors have attempted to do just that, and now we may have an idea for the popularity of Netflix's new series Lost in Space. Based off the classic 1965 show of the same name, Netflix attempted to bring a dramatic, modern, and expensive trip. But did anyone stream it?
The answer is yes, although perhaps not as popularly as Netflix was hoping for. According to Nielsen's tracking (via Variety), drew 6.3 million U.S. viewers within the first three days of its release. Viewers reportedly watched 2.5 hours of Lost in Space, with 1.2 million binge watching it all in the first three days. This is a relatively modest showing considering how massive Lost in Space as series was, although there are a few factors that may be weighing this number down.
Because Nielsen doesn't actually have Netflix's data, there's some aspects of the estimate that are missing. For instance, the numbers only reflect subscribers who watched Lost in Space on their television. Both computers and phone streams were not included in these numbers, which is likely a sizable sum of viewers. Netflix is a platform that's known for its accessibility, and there are many subscribers who utilize mobile devices more often than their actual TV.
Furthermore, simply measuring the first three days of Lost in Space's run isn't necessarily telling of its total performance. Word of mouth and Netflix's in-app suggestions both help Netflix originals gain viewership, and there is a massive international market available that could be streaming Lost in Space. So while the show's opening performance pales in comparison to that of Stranger Things or Orange is the New Black, the new space drama is still very much in its infancy.
Netflix's Lost in Space took the characters and concept of the original 1960's series, and upped the stakes and budget in a big way. The signature Robinson family was given modern updates; Maureen and John have marital problems, Judy is played by a young woman of color, and Parker Posey has taken on the iconic mantle of Dr. Smith. The streaming service definitely put some serious coin into making the series as beautiful as possible, so only time will tell if the investment is returned and a second season is eventually ordered.