People Have Watched More Than 5 Billion Minutes of 'Tiger King' on Netflix, Ratings Show

Americans spent a lot of time watching Netflix's Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness in late March, with Nielsen ratings showing that the program was viewed for a cumulative 5.3 billion minutes over one week.

The original seven episodes of the popular show were by far the most-streamed content in the country, beating out Netflix's Ozark by 50 percent, according to Deadline Hollywood. A bonus update episode, hosted by comedian and actor Joel McHale and titled Tiger King and I, was released on April 12 and saw 4.6 million viewers on its first day.

From March 23 to March 29, a total of 5.3 billion minutes of the show's original run were streamed. The documentary series was seen by 34.3 million unique viewers in the first ten days of its released. Viewing figures for the original seven episodes after March 29 were not available.

Newsweek reached out to Nielsen for additional information but did not receive a response in time for publication.

#TigerKing remains atop of the streaming kingdom. 👑📺

According to our data, users watched more than 5.3 billion minutes of @netflix's show between March 23-29.

April 12's bonus episode hosted by @joelmchale earned 4.6 million viewers on its first day. https://t.co/XN05dzuBtm

— Nielsen (@nielsen) April 17, 2020

Demand for streaming content has increased significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in most Americans going into isolation at home. Nielsen numbers are said to indicate that overall streaming during the week of April 6 to 12 totaled 169.9 billion minutes, increasing 8.5 billion from the previous week.

Tiger
One of the 39 tigers rescued from Joe Exotic's G.W. Exotic Animal Park in 2017 relaxes at the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado on April 5, 2020. Marc Piscotty/Getty

Tiger King's story, involving an eccentric gay zookeeper who doubled as a self-styled country music star before being arrested for initiating a murder-for-hire plot against the owner of a big cat sanctuary quickly grabbed the public's attention when it began streaming on March 20.

Joe Maldonado-Passage, the star of the show also known as "Joe Exotic," has lamented not being able to see himself "being famous" due to living in prison, where he is serving 22 years after being convicted on animal abuse charges and for attempting to hire a hitman to murder series co-star Carole Baskin.

A reporter recently asked President Donald Trump if he would consider pardoning Maldonado-Passage, who is said to have written the president a letter from prison requesting that he be set free. Trump said he would consider the move, although he didn't appear to be aware of the popular show.

"I know nothing about it. He has 22 years for what, what did he do?" Trump said on April 8. "I'll look into it."

The president's son Donald Trump Jr. revealed during a question-and-answer session on Facebook Tuesday that his father called him and discussed Maldonado-Passage after the press conference, saying that the president has become "fascinated" with the topic.

"He was fascinated," Trump Jr. said. "I think Melania may have shown him one of the memes that I had posted. It was like Donald Trump's face with a Tiger King mullet, which was pretty epic."

Maldonado-Passage's husband Dillon Passage told the hosts of a U.K. daytime talk show on Wednesday that the former zookeeper is a "really big Trump supporter" and had expressed excitement after learning that the president had spoken about him.