Premiered in February 2022, Apple TV+ dark sci-fi drama series is a hit. The show has not only been renowned for season 2 but its season 1 has also been nominated for the 2022 Emmy awards for outstanding series, along with other nominations.
However, “Severance” director and exectuive producer, Ben Stiller is unable to measure the show’s success because Apple TV+ does not share “numbers. In an interview with Decider, Stiller expressed his frustration with not knowing the baseline of how many people watched the show.
There’s so much stuff out there too, that people were able to find it, because is a big mystery of who’s watching what on streaming. They don’t really tell you. So it’s been really nice.
Ben Stiller learned about “Severance” success at 2022 Comic-Con (San Diego)
When asked about “Severance” success, Stiller said that he felt fortunate that people “caught on” the show because “there’s so much stuff out there too”. However, he complained that the Apple TV+ team leaves him in the dark without giving actual viewership figures.
But you don’t know what the baseline is. I guess could be like, based on 100 people or could be like, 200 million people. We don’t know. They basically say, “Yeah, this is doing well.” You’re trying to interpret what they’re saying. But they’re straightforward. It’s just that’s how, I guess, all the streamers do it. How do you find out? I’m curious how you find out.
As they only provide charts and graphs with peaks and valleys and not “numbers”, Stiller learned of the show’s success at San Diego Comic-Con when a large group of people attended the discussion.
Yeah, but because they don’t tell, it’s really weird. They sort of give you kind of an idea. But it’s not like ratings or box office numbers or anything like that. It’s like graphs and charts that are relative… The fun thing was going to [San Diego] Comic-Con and having a full house for a panel and seeing all those people there. That was the first time I was like, “Oh, wow, this is really like… There are people who are really watching this, like human beings to connect with on it.”
Having said that, Stiller added that Google trends and discussions on social media also provide an indication of the show’s success and he felt fortunate that the show resonated with the audience.
In the end, Stiller said that in season 2 viewers should expect some “really fun, weird things” but through the lens of the character’s lives and the situation, they are in.