The idea was bonkers from the start—a reality competition based on a fictional series about a reality competition in which players fight to the death—but perhaps unsurprisingly, given the runaway success of its gruesome source material, Netflix’s controversial Squid Game: The Challenge is a certified hit. Even without any dead bodies.
According to Netflix’s viewership report for the week of November 20, The Challenge topped its English TV list with 20.1 million views. What’s more, the original Squid Game drama series, already a record-breaking sensation for the streamer, returned to the Netflix charts, notching sixth place on its most popular non-English list with 1.6 million views. (It’s already Netflix’s most popular non-English series of all time, so it’s just widening its lead on whatever future show has dreams of usurping that title.)
Much like the fictional series, the competition started with a pool of 456 players—all with their eyes on a $US4.56 million prize—and has been winnowing down their numbers through challenges inspired by the series (except a tad less fatal, using paint guns instead of bullets, for instance) as well as new additions.