Arnold Schwarzenegger's Netflix series was a bigger hit than Succession and Ted Lasso

Arnold Schwarzenegger poses for photographs at the premiere for Netflix's Fubar TV show
Fubar blew its streaming competition out of the water, according to date compiled by Nielsen (Image credit: Netflix)

Fubar, the first TV show to star Arnold Schwarzenegger, was bigger than Succession and Ted Lasso combined in late May.

Per data analytics company Nielsen (as covered by The Hollywood Reporter), the action comedy series amassed a whopping 1.53 billion minutes streamed in its first week on Netflix. Admittedly, that only equates to 25.6 million hours, but they're still impressive numbers for Arnie's small-screen debut.

What's even more remarkable is how Fubar didn't just hold its own against two titans of the TV industry, but outperformed them in the week running May 22 to 28 (i.e. the week Fubar debuted on Netflix). 

According to Nielsen, Succession season 4, which aired on Max in the US, only accrued 541 million minutes across the same seven-day period. Meanwhile, the third season of Ted Lasso, the multi-award winning soccer comedy series that's become an Apple TV Plus stalwart, performed slightly better at 769 million minutes watched. 

Brian Cox as Logan Roy in Succession season 4

Succession couldn't see off the challenge from Fubar in late May. (Image credit: HBO)

Even that figure, though, pales in comparison to the numbers Fubar posted. In fact, adding Succession and Ted Lasso's figures together – 1.31 billion minutes watched – doesn't match Fubar's 1.53 billion. In short: two of the world's most popular shows of 2023 couldn't hold a candle to the star power that the man affectionately dubbed 'Arnie' wields.

There are caveats to Nielsen's data set, however. The company's streaming ratings only measure minutes and hours streamed by US viewers, not those in other nations. So, while Fubar dominated the streaming landscape in late May on American shores, it doesn't necessarily mean it outperformed Succession and Ted Lasso worldwide. Nielsen's statistics don't cover minutes or hours watched on computers or mobile devices, either, meaning the data it collects isn't as extensive as you might expect.

That said, if we take Netflix's in-house global viewership data into account (per its Top 10 TV show list, which is updated weekly), Fubar amassed 88.9 million hours streamed in its first week on the world's best streaming service. That's 63.3 million hours more than Nielsen registered. Unless Succession and Ted Lasso were watched by millions of viewers worldwide between May 22 and 28, then, it's unlikely they'll have exceeded Fubar's total hours streamed.

Terminating the competition

A still of Arnold Schwarzenegger from the trailer for FUBAR

Fubar will return for a second season on Netflix. (Image credit: Netflix )

Despite his best days – from an acting perspective – arguably being behind him, then, Schwarzenegger is still a massive draw for audiences looking for a new action-oriented story to lose themselves in. After all, Arnie was one of the biggest action stars of the 1980s, with legendary movies including The Terminator, Predator, Commando, and Total Recall under his belt.

Based on its teaser trailers, the series didn't look all that appealing. And, if you're a stickler for the opinions of critics and likeminded fans, Fubar's 50% and 68% critics and audience ratings on Rotten Tomatoes suggest it's not one of the best Netflix shows around.

But the power of Arnie should never be underestimated. He's still a big selling point for studios in the entertainment industry, even if Fubar is his first major role since 2019's Terminator: Dark Fate. Really, we should have expected Fubar to perform above expectations.

Given how well Fubar has done – it hasn't fallen out of the top five TV shows on Netflix since it launched – it was unsurprising to see the series renewed for a second season on June 17. It's unclear if viewers will return for Fubar's sophomore year, or if they'll have moved on to the next big thing by the time season 2 is released. For now, though, 'Arnie' can bask in the limelight once more – and who would deny him the opportunity to do so?

For more Fubar-based coverage, watch these six action comedies after you've finished Schwarzenegger's latest project. Alternatively, check out these three action movies that are must-see for any Arnie fan.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

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