The live comedy special is #7 on Netflix Weekly’s US TV Top 10.
Netflix entered the realm of live television over the weekend with Chris Rock’s comedy special “Selective Outrage,” which aired live on the service Saturday night. And after all the hype — as well as the controversy surrounding Rock’s material — it looks like the special has found the audience the streamer was hoping for.
In Netflix’s latest weekly chart of the 10 most-watched shows in the U.S., “Selective Outrage” is No. 7; Netflix did not release specific figures on the special’s viewership. While No. 7 might sound a little disappointing for a highly hyped event, the chart shows one week of viewing from February 27th to March 5th. The Rock special debuted live on March 4th at 7:00 PM PT/10:00 PM ET. managed to crack the list with just over a day’s worth of views. Also, Netflix measures viewership for their listings by hours watched, which strongly favors longer shows; as a comedy, “Selective Outrage” has a total running time of just over an hour.
Netflix has not released specific viewership numbers for “Selective Outrage” in advance. The streamer also did not say if the shows before and after the live “Selective Outrage” debut were counted in the ratings.
“Selective Outrage” was announced by Netflix last November as the streamer’s first live show. The Rock performed a set at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore, Maryland, and the show looked like any Netflix you’d watch on the streamer’s interface. The pre- and post-shows were hosted by the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, with Ronny Chieng hosting the pre-show and David Spade and Dana Carvey hosting the post-show; Amy Schumer, Cedric the Entertainer, George Lopez, Ice-T, Jerry Seinfeld, Jimmy Fallon, Kevin Hart, Matthew McConaughey, Paul McCartney, Sarah Silverman, Tracy Morgan, Wanda Sykes and Woody Harrelson, JB Smoove and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as special guests stepped up.
Despite attracting large audiences, “Selective Outrage” received mixed reactions upon its premiere; IndieWire’s TV critic Ben Travers gave it a “C-” grade and wrote that the special “didn’t last by any means. Half the jokes were stale before he finished telling them, and his material “seemed unremarkable at best, uninterested in deeper scrutiny or even general coherence”. The special also drew backlash for his jokes about Rock Smith over the much-publicized Oscar slap, which included watching the star’s slave drama Emancipation “just to see him get caught.”
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