'Ratched' Reaches Netflix No. 1, Sets Record for Streamer

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday October 19, 2020

Sarah Paulson, left, and Finn Wittrock, right, in a scene from "Ratched."
Sarah Paulson, left, and Finn Wittrock, right, in a scene from "Ratched."  (Source:Saeed Adyani/Netflix)

The Netflix original series "Ratched" racked up more viewers than any other original series offered by the streamer in 2020, with 48 million people tuning in to the Ryan Murphy "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" prequel series within four weeks of its premiere, Deadline reports.

Netflix said that the numbers made "Ratched" its "biggest original season one of the year."

Those numbers exceed even 2019's season one high-water marks set for "The Umbrella Academy" (45 million) and the Gillian Anderson / Asa Butterfield-led comedy "Sex Education" (40 million). Only "Witcher," starring Henry Cavill, fared better, Digital Spy noted; that series dropped in December of 2019 and garnered 76 million viewers.

"Ratched" stars frequent Murphy collaborator Sarah Paulson as the eponymous character, Nurse Mildred Ratched. The character is depicted in 1947, two decades before her notorious turn in Milos Forman's 1974 film adaptation of the Ken Kesey novel. Louise Fletcher played Nurse Ratched in the film.

The series reveals Nurse Ratched's backstory and follows her successful bid to install herself among the staff at St. Lucia's State Hospital, a mental asylum in Northern California, for sinister reasons of her own.

Digital Spy noted that Netflix's initial order was for two seasons totaling 18 episodes. There's been no word yet on when Season Two might be expected to drop, however.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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