‘Resident Evil’ Debut Injects Twitter With New Blood

Resident Evil” injected Twitter with new life following its July 14 debut, topping Variety’s Trending TV chart for the week of July 11 to 17. The Netflix series knocked “Stranger Things” from the No. 1 spot after six collective weeks there, as the show earned more than 682,000 engagements from ravenous viewers.

The series has been building momentum with fans since the mid-May trailer release, when it set up a new take on the classic video games and film adaptations. That take has proven to be controversial with fans in the first few days following the eight-episode drop, however, with some criticizing the creative changes, general dialogue and overall character development.

“Resident Evil” follows two timelines: one leading up to the moment a deadly virus caused a global apocalypse, and one that picks up 14 years following those events.

Meanwhile, “Better Call Saul,” netted more than three times as many engagements as the AMC series had last week. The drama continues to build momentum as it unrolls its final few series episodes. Five Emmy nominations (including for drama series, and an overdue acting nod for Rhea Seehorn and Bob Odenkirk) helped bolster the overall conversation.

“Ms. Marvel” also drew a lot more chatter this week, landing in third place with nearly 197,000 engagements — an uptick of more than 250% week-over-week. The Disney+ series wrapped the season (and potentially the series) on July 13 following a six-episode run that never topped the trending chart, but remained in the Top 5 in the weeks following its debut.

Former chart-topper “Stranger Things” lost momentum this week and dropped to fourth place with 173,000 engagements, earning nearly half a million less interactions with fans who have finally caught up with the penultimate season. The Netflix series pulled just ahead of HBO’s “The Last of Us,” which rounded out the Top 5 with 171,600 engagements.

“The Last of Us” is another post-apocalyptic video game adaptation, starring Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal. Filming wrapped this past June in Alberta, Canada, after a 13-month, closed-set shoot. The series is the most expensive show ever shot in Canada with a rumored budget in the hundreds of millions.

HBO released new poster art on July 14, and confirmed the series will air weekly and simultaneously on HBO and HBO Max. No debut date has been announced, but the show is expected to premiere in early 2023.

In sixth place this week, “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” returned to the chart with 85,000 engagements. The South Korean Netflix drama fell one place from last week’s chart, but was up roughly 50,000 interactions following the release of two new episodes. The series was ahead of another Netflix entry, “The Umbrella Academy,” which has also been a steady chart presence since its third season return on June 22.

The Emmy nominations on July 12 also prompted the return of another series to the Trending TV chart. “Euphoria,” which dominated Twitter during its second-season run earlier this year, continued to draw conversations after receiving 16 Emmy nods. Stars Zendaya and Sydney Sweeney were recognized in acting categories, while the show itself earned a drama series nod. Zendaya became the youngest woman ever nominated for producing at the Emmys, in addition to being the youngest two-time lead acting nominee ever.

Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building” also scored Emmy love with 13 nominations, including acting nods for leads Steve Martin and Martin Short. However, after co-star Selena Gomez was snubbed, despite critical recognition, fans took to Twitter in protest. Gomez was nominated as a producer, however, making history as the third Latina to ever be in the running as a producer for a comedy series. (Salma Hayek was the first in 2007 for “Ugly Betty.”) Overall, “Only Murders” added nearly 49,000 additional engagements to its discourse this week.

Rounding out this week’s Top 10 was the debut of Nathan Fielder’s new HBO project, “The Rehearsal,” which added 47,000 interactions to the chart. The comedy tracks Fielder as he works with people to rehearse their big life moments and has drawn comparisons to a real-life Charlie Kaufman film.

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