Netflix’s “Fuller House” was far from a critical favorite when the spin-off premiered last year, but it’s nothing the show’s creator hasn’t dealt with before.
“I kind of look at bad reviews as good luck for us,” executive producer Jeff Franklin recently told Business Insider. “When ‘Full House’ came on the air, the reviews were pretty vicious, as well. I think we got an ‘F’ from People magazine and 30 years later we’re on the cover. The reviews for ‘Fuller House’ I would say were even more vicious than the ones we got for ‘Full House,’ but our fans don’t really care. This is not a show that depends on good reviews for people to watch it.”
Franklin has a very good point. Though Netflix doesn’t report its viewing statistics, that hasn’t stopped independent research companies from trying to break the code for the streaming company’s ratings. SymphonyAM, for example, reported that “Fuller House” is the highest-rated show on Netflix.
“What was great is that I know people didn’t watch just one episode just to see what it was and then tune out,” Franklin said. “We know that most of the fans that came to the show watched all 13 episodes. And they not only watched them once, they watched them several times. So I think the show has been extremely well-received. If these independent research numbers are to be believed, and there’s no reason for me not to believe them, it’s not only the No. 1 show on Netflix, but it’s the most-watched show on television.”
For the record, Netflix has called SymphonyAM’s findings inaccurate. Franklin said Netflix hasn’t given him any viewership numbers at all, but that’s not due to a lack of trying on his part.
“I’ve asked the executives on our show, ‘Look, if these numbers are right, just blink once and we’ll never have this conversation again.’ I try to get it out of them but they are not budging,” Franklin told us. “They’ve never acknowledged any of this success. They just say, ‘Hey, you guys got picked up again. You’re gonna do more shows and you’re doing great.’ That’s about all I get from Netflix.”
Despite the drawback of not knowing the viewership data around his show, Franklin is willing to respect Netflix’s business model. He believes that being on Netflix has made the show “cooler than it really is.”
“They don’t want their creative partners knowing exactly what’s going on, but they’ve been wonderful to us,” he said. “I’m thrilled to be at Netflix. If we were on Nick at Nite or ABC, I don’t think we’d have the same kind of caché and the pop-culture appeal that we have because we’re on Netflix.”