Amazon’s new fantasy series scores streamer’s most-watched premiere of 2021

the wheel of time

Netflix may have outlined a desire to become more open and transparent with viewership data, but the rest of the competitors in the streaming wars haven’t shown much interest in following suit.

However, that hasn’t stopped Amazon Studios boss Jennifer Salke from revealing to Deadline that lavish fantasy adaptation The Wheel of Time has scored the platform’s most-watched episodic premiere of 2021, and one of the top debuts for any in-house episodic effort ever, without actually detailing how many people tuned in.

Obviously, we’ll need to take the boss at her word, and The Wheel of Time has certainly been drumming up plenty of buzz on social media since premiering last week. Based on the literary series of the same name by Robert Jordan, the story follows Moiraine of the Aes Sedai, who takes four of her charges on a journey around the world believing one of them is the reincarnation of the Dragon, a powerful being prophesied to either save or end life as we know it.

Reactions from critics and audiences have been largely positive, which is just as well because the top-notch production values indicate Amazon funneled a lot of money into The Wheel of Time as it continues the streamer’s expansion into big budget episodic fantasy, one that accelerates in a major way next year when the billion-dollar The Lord of the Rings series debuts.