Netflix Says 'When They See Us' Is its Most Watched Series Since its Debut

Ava DuVernay's limited series about the Central Park Five has become one of the most important shows of the year.
IMAGE Netflix

For the past two weeks, no Netflix show has been more popular than Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us—the limited series telling the story of the Central Park Five and their eventual exoneration for crimes they didn’t commit.

As of Wednesday, Netflix says that every day since the series’ release on May 31, When They See Us has been the most watched show on the platform. The claim went out via the company’s Twitter account with Ava DuVernay chiming in with an excited quote tweet that only says “*faints*.” Netflix did not release any additional information or data—as is the streaming giant's notorious policy. Regardless, the series' impact is undeniable: When They See Us has quickly become one of the must-see series of the year.

The four part series has drawn attention as a potential awards contender, but even more than its critical acclaim, the series has made headlines for shining a scalding spotlight on the original case. The case's prosecutor Linda Fairstein (played by Felicity Huffman) has since been dropped from her publisher. She has also stepped down from several other positions at non-profit organizations. Elizabeth Lederer (played by Vera Farmiga), the assistant district attorney on the case, has recently parted ways with Columbia Law School following backlash from the film.

While the Netflix series continues to have an impact on the real world, When They See Us should build steam all the way to Emmys season. And with all the fanfare, When They See Us could be primed to do some major awards sweeping. 


This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Justin Kirkland
Justin Kirkland is a writer for Esquire, where he focuses on entertainment, television, and pop culture. Prior to Esquire, his work appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter, and USA Today. He is from East Tennessee and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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