Declaring that “audiences can’t take their eyes off Monster and The Watcher,” Netflix’s head of global TV, Bela Bajaria, explained why the streamer is renewing the former show for two years and the latter for a single season.
Over its first four weeks, Monster became Netflix’s second most-watched series, and the third in any language. As of November 1, it has amassed 934 million viewing hours worldwide. Meanwhile, The Watcher attracted 341 million viewing hours within the 18 days after its October 13 premiere.
According to the official release from Netflix announcing the renewals: “The creative team of Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan on Monster along with Eric Newman on The Watcher are masterful storytellers who captivated audiences all over the world. The back-to-back force of these two series is due to Ryan’s distinct original voice which created cultural sensations and we are thrilled to continue telling stories in the Monster and Watcher universes.”
Monster, which premiered on September 21, is based on the true story of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, with Evan Peters starring in the title role; other cast members include Richard Jenkins, Molly Ringwald, Michael Learned, and Niecy Nash. The Watcher was inspired by the true story of a family that had been receiving threatening letters from an anonymous stalker. It is based on a 2018 story in New York magazine by Reeves Wiedeman. The cast for the first season, which debuted on October 13, includes Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale in the lead roles, with Jennifer Coolidge, Mia Farrow, Margo Martindale, Terry Kinney, Joe Mantello, Richard Kind, among others.
According to Netflix, “Monster will become an anthology series like Murphy’s FX shows American Horror Story and American Crime Story. It will feature “stories of other monstrous figures who have impacted society,” It’s still not clear whether The Watcher will also be treated as part of an anthology.
In 2018, Murphy signed a $300 million five-year deal to produce programming for Netflix. He had earlier created series like Hollywood, The Politician, Ratched and Halston, none of which attracted audiences like Monster or The Watcher. The just-announced Netflix renewal seems to quell rumors that Murphy might be returning to Disney, as had been rumored.