HBO’s “Chernobyl” has not only been a critical success, it now has the numbers to back it up.
The five-part mini-series about the horrific 1986 Ukranian nuclear plant meltdown reportedly saw an almost uninterrupted viewership climb from its May 6th debut to its June 3rd finale, pulling in a cumulative audience of 8 million so far.
That’s comparable to the third season of “True Detective” Season 3 (8.1 million), and above “Sharp Objects” last year (7.3 million) but behind the first season of “Big Little Lies” (8.5 million). One key difference – “Chernobyl” airs on the less ratings intense Mondays whereas all the others were on Sundays.
Of that viewership – 35% was linear, while a massive 52% was from HBO Go, HBO Now and other streaming sources – no other HBO series has ever topped 50% in its digital contribution.
It’s also having an unexpected side effect – CNN reports visits to the still maintained Exclusion Zone around the former rector and the ghost city of Pripyat has surged by 35% since the show’s debut.
However some of this new influx of tourists are Instagram influencers who are said to be acting disrespectfully and taking selfies and being annoying. It has gotten so bad that series creator Craig Mazin has tweeted: “Yes, I’ve seen the photos going around. If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed.”
Meanwhile in Chernobyl: Instagram influencers flocking to the site of the disaster. pic.twitter.com/LnRukoLirQ
— Bruno Zupan (@komacore) June 9, 2019