As streaming becomes more popular, some have kept performances of shows and movies close to the chest. It turns out Apple TV+ is the same as Severance co-creator Ben Stiller does not know the viewership numbers for his hit series that blew up earlier this year. In an interview with Decider, he revealed how he is in the dark about the show’s performance, and he finds it “really weird.”
“They don’t tell you the numbers,” he said. “It’s really weird. So, you get these graphs and charts, like I said, that have like peaks and valleys. But you don’t know what the baseline is. I guess [it] could be like, based on 100 people or could be like, 200 million people. We don’t know.”
Severance follows a group of employees who are “severed,” meaning that a part of their brain blocks out what they did on their off-time when they enter the office for a day of work, and the same goes for their work personalities. The dystopian look at the structure of work and the idea of a work-life balance is examined as these employees want out of the office and want the lives that are lived by their other selves.
Nobody knows how many people watched Severance, not even Ben Stiller
It turns out that making a show for Apple means you will only get a sense of success from meeting fans, seeing positive reviews, and reading the buzz online. Ben Stiller was told that Severance performed great, but nobody, even him, knows what that means. The company does not release its numbers to the press or in any public forum.
“They basically say, ‘Yeah, this is doing well,'” he said. “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.”
This does not mean that the co-creator does not see the success of Severance. The debut season was a huge hit, earning the green light for the second season. It hit home for the filmmaker when he went to San Diego Comic-Con.
“The fun thing was going to Comic-Con and having a full house for a panel and seeing all those people out 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.'”
Ben Stiller directed six of the nine episodes of Severance. He executive produces and co-created it with Dan Erickson. The series stars Adam Scott (Big Little Lies), Zach Cherry (Duncanville), Britt Lower (Casual), Tramell Tillman (Godfather of Harlem), Dichen Lachman (Altered Carbon), John Turturro (The Batman), Jen Tullock (Perry Mason), Michael Chernus (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), and Christopher Walken.
Severance can be watched on Apple TV+.