It feels like Tiger King is the biggest Netflix series in many months, but feelings are vague and subjective. Plus, Netflix is very stringy reporting any details of their viewers and their streaming usage. So here are some objective numbers from Nielsen (via Variety): Tiger King is indeed a hit, with viewership numbers in its first 10 days that rival those of some of Netflix’s biggest shows, including Stranger Things:

The docuseries reached a U.S. TV audience of 34.3 million unique viewers within the first 10 days of its release (March 20-29), according to Nielsen estimates. That topped season 2 of Netflix hit “Stranger Things,” which had 31.2 million unique viewers in its first 10 days, and was within shouting distance of “Stranger Things 3,” which drew 36.3 million over the comparable 10-day span, the measurement firm said.

Any show that’s even inviting comparison with Stranger Things, the rare Netflix original that became a full-on cultural phenomenon — inspiring toys, clothes, and other merchandise — is in good shape. It’s not surprising that there are rumors that Netflix is making a bonus episode of the show, or that Investigation Discovery is getting into the Joe Exotic business with their own sequel series. Unlike Stranger ThingsTiger King can’t just be continued indefinitely, though.

There’s no question that Tiger King benefitted from everyone being trapped in their houses riding out the coronavirus pandemic. Would it have become the same level of hit if it had to compete with the normal slate of pop culture (not to mention live sports)? We’ll never know.

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