Reacher Set A Record For Amazon Prime By Topping The Nielsen Streaming Chart

Jack Reacher has a "Bronze Star, Silver Star, and a Purple Heart," according to the trailer for his Amazon Prime Video series, which premiered last month. The guy's got muscles, too, and he can use them as a bottle opener. Now, the hulking hero of "Reacher," played by Aaron Ritchson, can add "Most-Streamed Show" to his list of military decorations, as "Reacher" has extended its reach all the way to the top of the Nielsen chart for original streaming programs.

"Reacher" unloaded all eight episodes of its first season on February 4, 2022. Just days later, the show was renewed for a second season, an early sign that Amazon had a hit on its hands. Since then, the Nielsen ratings for the week of February 7, 2022, to February 13, 2022, have rolled in, and amid a top ten dominated almost exclusively by Netflix, "Reacher" managed to come in at #1.

Nielsen's SVOD charts use minutes viewed to measure the popularity of original and acquired shows and movies available through subscription video on demand, including streaming services like Amazon, Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix. In order for a viewer's minutes to count toward the total, they have to keep watching a show for more than two minutes after they click play. Going by that metric, "Reacher" logged almost 1.6 million minutes for the week in question (per TV Line), beating out shows like Netflix's "Sweet Magnolias," "Ozark," and "Inventing Anna," along with the Disney+ "Star Wars" series "The Book of Boba Fett."

Topping Nielsen's streaming chart is a first for Amazon, and it's good news for "Reacher" fans, many of whom may also be Lee Child readers who waited years to see an onscreen Jack Reacher who was more authentic to his book roots.

Tom Cruise left some big yet small shoes to fill

Tom Cruise previously played Reacher in the films "Jack Reacher" and "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back." Cruise is one of the biggest movie stars in the world, so in that sense, any actor inheriting a role from him was going to have some big shoes to fill. This is something we've seen, for instance, with his "Interview with the Vampire" character, Lestat, who has since been played by Stuart Townsend and will be played by Sam Reid in an AMC television re-adaptation later this year.

Cruise, however, reportedly stands 5 foot 7, and shoes are actually one way that filmmakers have made him look taller than he really is. In a movie like "Top Gun," for example, they could film him from low angles or put him in shoes with lifts and have his co-star, Kelly McGillis, remove her heels and lower her natural height to his level by slumping.

The character of Jack Reacher, as described in Lee Child's original novels, called for a more imposing presence, someone "extremely tall, and extremely broad, and long-armed, and long-legged," who could make the temperature drop when he walked into a bar. Ritchson is a better fit, physically, for that kind of character, and if nothing else, his Nielsen ratings show that viewers were curious to see what he brought to the role—if not outright binging all eight episodes of "Reacher" the week of its premiere.