Netflix says its hit British series, ‘Bodyguard,’ was watched by 23 million households in its first month

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Netflix

  • “Bodyguard,” a hit British TV series Netflix is streaming outside of the UK, was viewed by 23 million households in its first four weeks.
  • The show stars “Game of Thrones” actor Richard Madden and has a 94% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Netflix regularly works with international production companies to nab global distribution rights, and has acquired a number of other British shows, including “The End of the F—ing World.”

Netflix added to its impressive catalog of British TV series in October with “Bodyguard,” a thriller starring “Game of Thrones” alum Richard Madden. And it’s paid off for the streaming giant.

“Bodyguard” was viewed by 23 million households in its first four weeks of release, Netflix’s content chief Ted Sarandos said during Thursday’s fourth quarter earnings call. Netflix counts a view for a TV show as an account that watches at least 70% of a single episode.

The series debuted on Netflix on October 24 and has a 94% Rotten Tomatoes critic score. Netflix describes the series this way: “After helping thwart a terrorist attack, a war veteran is assigned to protect a politician who was a main proponent of the very conflict he fought in.”

The show won the Golden Globe for best actor in a drama series (Madden) and was also nominated for best drama series.

READ MORE: Netflix says its hit British series ‘Sex Education’ will be watched by 40 million households in its first month, and it has a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes

Indiewire called it “a gripping and thoroughly entertaining adventure that’s emotionally deft.” The Hollywood Reporter said it’s “six-plus hours of pulse-pounding action and brain-bending twists.”

The show originally premiered on the UK’s BBC network in late August and grabbed viewers with its twists and turns. It’s the latest British series to be streamed outside of the UK by Netflix, which regularly works with international production companies to acquire global distribution rights, according to Deadline, which first reported the “Bodyguard” deal in September.

Other British shows that Netflix has acquired include cult hit “The Frankenstein Chronicles,” which stars another former “Game of Thrones” actor, Sean Bean; “Collateral,” starring Carey Mulligan; “Wanderlust,” starring Toni Collette; and “The End of the F—ing World,” which Netflix recently renewed for a second season.

It’s a strategy that has worked in both Netflix and UK networks’ favor, as Netflix is able to introduce the shows to a wider audience. Some series don’t manage to grab audiences in the UK, but once streamed on Netflix, shows like BBC’s “The Last Kingdom” found success. Its third season debuted November 19.