Netflix's American Murder: The Family Next Door Becomes Streaming Service's Most Watched Documentary

Streaming services have provided viewers with a pretty wide array of content this year, especially as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to more people spending time at home. Netflix's original programming has definitely played a key role in that, with buzzworthy movies and television shows over the past few months. According to newly-released numbers from the streaming service, we now know just how popular one title - the true crime documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door - has been. On Tuesday, Netflix announced that The Family Next Door is their most-watched feature documentary to date, with projections indicating that it will be watched by 52 million subscribers in its first 28 days. Netflix also revealed that The Social Dilemma, another newly-released documentary from the service, was watched by 38 million households in that same stretch of time.

These might not quite be Tiger King numbers, as the documentary series reportedly reached 64 million households in the first month of its release. Still, these numbers showcase just how prominent both documentaries have been -- and how impressive The Family Next Door's time on the streamer has been.

Directed by Jenny Popplewell, The Family Next Door focuses on the 2018 disappearances and later murders of Shanann Watts and her two daughters, which occurred in Frederick, Colorado. The film utilizes multiple pieces of evidence - including social media posts, body-cam recordings, home videos, news reports, and text messages - to bring the chilling documentary to life.

These numbers come as Netflix has been experiencing surprising growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with 2.2 million new subscribers joining the service just within the past quarter. It also revealed that some of its original films, including The Old Guard, Project Power, and The Kissing Booth 2, scored impressive viewership numbers over the past quarter.

“We live in uncertain times with restrictions on what we can do socially and many people are turning to entertainment for relaxation, connection, comfort and stimulation,” Netflix said in its quarterly shareholder letter earlier this year.

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“We expect less growth for the second half of 2020 compared to the prior year,” Netflix's letter continues. “As we navigate these turbulent circumstances, we’re focused on our members by continuing to improve the quality of our service and bringing new films and shows to people’s screens.”

What do you think of American Murder: The Family Next Door becoming so popular on Netflix? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!