Fallout TV Show Claims 65 Million Viewers In Two Weeks

Amazon Prime has revealed that its Fallout TV show is the second-most popular program it’s made, with a claimed total of 65 million people—or one United Kingdom—watching in its first two weeks. These are the kinds of numbers a network TV channel executive would sell his children’s souls to receive.

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The phenomenon of Fallout has been fascinating to behold. Since the series debut, we’ve watched a bunch of years-old games find themselves topping sales charts, while a long-maligned MMO suddenly gets itself a vanishingly rare second chance. The franchise, which has long been at the center of some of the most hostile online communities, has been brought together in the most unlikely happiness by a TV show that seems to respect the history of every game in the series. Oh, and in the weirdest twist, it’s actually good.

Amazon has told Variety that all this attention has added up to 65 million viewers, setting it as their second-most popular show, after hypnagogic hit, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. That mind-numbingly boring show apparently had 25 million watch the first episode, and over 100 million in its lifetime. And insomnia was cured.

Thing is, what exactly does Amazon mean when it says “65 million viewers”? Is that 65m watched all nine episodes in their entirety? Are they counting the same people each time they watch a new episode? Or is it something more akin to a YouTube model, where anyone watching an episode for more than five minutes counts in their figure? The megacorp doesn’t say. Since it’s scientifically impossible for any human to have watched Rings of Power to its conclusion, given they’d be in a coma midway through episode four, you have to assume the number includes people who haven’t reached the end of the finale.

I know I haven’t—I’m midway through the final episode right now, rudely interrupted by a need to work, and my enormous frustration at for how long it dragged out the reveal about Vault 31. “This had better be good,” I told it, when episode seven ended on Moises Arias’ gawping face. But surely, with seven-and-a-half episodes viewed, I still count toward the 65 million? Not least because otherwise they’d have had to announce an audience of 64,999,999, and that’d have been a lot more confusing.

It’s unlikely we’ll ever know, unless for some reason Amazon found itself in a position where it needed to convince shareholders to sit still. That’s usually the only way any of the big streamers will budge on explaining their calculations. But unlike Netflix, Amazon’s video platform is just a tiny spare appendage, growing out of the side of its hideous mutant face, so don’t expect clarity any time soon.


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