True crime is in now more than ever with the continued rise in viewership of Netflix’s Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Starring Evan Peters as the cannibalistic serial killer, the series originally premiered on Netflix on Sept. 21, and it wasn’t long before people started tuning in en masse. Nielsen has revealed that Dahmer was streamed for 3.66 billion minutes for the week of Sept. 19-25. This now puts Dahmer as having the tenth-biggest streaming week for a series on a streaming service since 2020 when Nielsen first began keeping track of these viewership numbers.
This new record follows the previous report that Dahmer had made its way up to become the second most-watched English-language series on Netflix, putting it behind Stranger Things 4. With Nielsen’s top 10 list of all time for the most-watched titles in a week for streaming, Netflix takes up all 10 spots. Stranger Things alone takes up five of the spots with Tiger King and Ozark also part of the equation with two spots each, per Variety.
Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story was created for Netflix by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan; Murphy also served as showrunner. Evan Peters stars as Jeffrey Dahmer while Niecy Nash co-stars as Glenda Cleveland, the real-life neighbor of the serial killers whose concerns about his behavior went ignored by police. The cast also includes Richard Jenkins as Lionel Dahmer, Molly Ringwald as Shari Dahmer, and Michael Learned as Catherine Dahmer.
Dahmer Has Been Met With Great Controversy
With high viewership comes more opportunities to offend viewers. There were many who were quick to criticize Monster for “exploiting” the real-life crimes of the serial killer for the series. Family members of Dahmer’s victims have also condemned the show, including Rita Isbell, whose brother was one of Dahmer’s victims. A moment in real life where she emotionally berated Dahmer was recreated for the Netflix series, and she felt uncomfortable seeing the moment put on display in such fashion.
“When I saw some of the show, it bothered me, especially when I saw myself — when I saw my name come across the screen and this lady saying verbatim exactly what I said,” she said, per Insider. “If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought it was me. Her hair was like mine, she had on the same clothes. That’s why it felt like reliving it all over again. It brought back all the emotions I was feeling back then.”
She added, “I was never contacted about the show. I feel like Netflix should’ve asked if we mind or how we felt about making it. They didn’t ask me anything. They just did it.”
Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is streaming on Netflix.