Ryan Murphy’s Jeffrey Dahmer Series on Netflix Unsettles Twitter

Netflix was the most talked about streaming service for the week of Sept. 19 to 25 thanks to the debut of “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” The Ryan Murphy-created series rose to the top of Variety’s Trending TV chart following its full season debut on Sept. 23 with more than 918,000 engagements on Twitter. 

Over the weekend, the show shot to No. 1 on the streamer’s most-watched list in countries around the world. As some learned more about the story of the real-life serial killer through Evan Peters’ portrayal, others pleaded with viewers not to fantasize about him or romanticize the killer simply because of the actor portraying the figure. Many more urged people to remember the victims: the 17 men and boys that Dahmer was convicted of killing in 1992.

The 10-episode limited series is one of several projects Murphy has overseen under his Netflix overall deal, which is reported to be in the $250-$300 million range. Other projects he’s brought to the streamer since inking the contract in 2018 include “Ratched,” “The Politician,” “The Prom” and “Hollywood.”

Coming in second place was the online aftermath of last week’s Emmys on NBC. The awards show, which drew the lowest viewership of all-time during its Sept. 19 broadcast, pulled in another 489,000 engagements this week — a steep drop from last week’s 18 million engagements.

Rounding out the Top 3 were the Academy Awards on ABC with more than 460,000 engagements. The spike was due to the conversations surrounding this year’s contenders, as actors revealed what categories they are submitting their work in. One particular category that heated Twitter was best actress, which is expected to include submissions from Viola Davis (“The Woman King”), Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”), Cate Blanchett (“Tár”), Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) and Ana de Armas (“Blonde”).

In fourth place with nearly 300,000 engagements was ABC’s “Abbott Elementary,” the Quinta Brunson-created workplace comedy about a group of teachers at an underfunded public school. The second season kicked off on Sept. 21, days after the series won three of the seven Emmys it was nominated for.

Fans were also excited about a recurring guest role by Leslie Odom Jr. and the surprise premiere cameo by Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty, who stopped by the school on the students’ first day of class.

“There are a lot of people who might be iconic in Philadelphia. There are a lot of people that might be loved in Philadelphia. None of them come close to the love and admiration that is given to Gritty,” recent Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph told Variety following the episode.

The debut of Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke as the adult versions of Rhaenyra and Alicent, respectively, on the sixth episode of “House of the Dragon” also garnered interest this week. The HBO series landed in fifth place on this week’s chart with nearly 244,000 Twitter engagements. The episode featured a 10-year time jump that progressed the internal strife within House Targaryen that was first written about in George R.R. Martin’s “Fire & Blood.”

Another conversation starter was “The Witcher” over at Netflix. The streaming service announced the third season release date during its fan event Tudum on Sept. 24, along with the release date for spinoff series “The Witcher: Blood Origin.” The new show debuts on Christmas Day, while the original fantasy starring Henry Cavill returns summer 2023.

Both shows saw a rise in Twitter engagements following the announcements as the franchise continues to be a strong one for the streamer. In addition to the limited-series “Blood Origin,” there are also plans for an anime feature and a family-friendly show planted in the universe.

Netflix also revealed the Season 5 premiere date for “The Crown” during Tudum, earning another 159,000 engagements for that series. A couple of weeks ago the show topped the Trending chart following the death of Queen Elizabeth. Now, fans are sharing cast photos and speculating on the new season’s subject matter ahead of the drop on Nov. 9.

The latest Disney+ “Star Wars” series, “Andor,” also made this week’s chart, pulling in just over 156,000 engagements following its three-episode debut on Sept. 21. Fans and critics are praising the limited, two-season series for departing from its traditional “Star Wars” TV model and focusing on characters outside of the Mandalorian/Skywalker worlds.

“Where ‘The Mandalorian,’ ‘Boba Fett’ and ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ wove their biggest reveals into the larger fabric of the Lucasfilm universe, ‘Andor’ doesn’t rush toward those moments that might make fans gasp out of pure recognition,” Variety chief TV critic Caroline Framke wrote in her review.

“Instead, it does something more surprising still: it tells the story of people who have nothing to do with Solos, Skywalkers or Palpatines, but whose lives matter nonetheless.”

Rounding out this week’s chart were two more Netflix entries: longtime chart-topper “Heartstopper” with almost 122,000 engagements and “Bridgerton” with nearly 113,000 engagements.

The former series announced it had kicked off production on its second season — news that passionate fans happily shared online. “Bridgerton,” meanwhile, sparked conversations after Netflix released the first official footage of prequel series “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” during the Tudum event.

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