Earnings calls are always a rich source of info on studios, and where their leadership is at. Alongside admitting to failures, Disney CEO Bob Iger has, of course, been talking to investors about successes. In the earnings call this week he pointed to critical smash, and Outposter favorite, Shogun as one of their successes.

According to Iger, it is FX’s most-watched show ever on their streaming platforms. He also claimed data showed that it had driven the second-largest number of signups to those platforms since Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in 2022. Of this, he said:

“The key to our success in streaming, and what consistently brings consumers back for more, is the array of exceptional content we produce that captivates audiences of all ages and backgrounds,”

Disney had previously announced that the premiere had garnered 9 million views globally across Hulu and Disney+, based on the first six days of streaming. This made it the No. 1 scripted General Entertainment series premiere globally.


Of course, those of us of a certain age will look at that number and be unimpressed, as we can remember when a pokey British soap opera scored 30 million views on its live broadcast (Eastenders, Den serving Angie the divorce papers, 1986, if you were wondering). However, the landscape has changed dramatically since then and those numbers are barely hit by major sporting events these days.

Shogun really was excellent. The understated show that required focus, and rewarded you for it. Shogun followed the collision of two ambitious men from different worlds. One is John Blackthorne, a risk-taking English sailor who ends up shipwrecked in Japan, a land whose unfamiliar culture will ultimately redefine him. The other is Lord Toranaga, a shrewd, powerful daimyo, at odds with his own dangerous, political rivals.

Added into the mix is Lady Mariko, a woman with invaluable skills but dishonorable family ties, who must prove her value and allegiance.

It is based on James Clavell’s Shogun, A historical fiction novel. The character of Blackthorne is loosely based on the historical English navigator William Adams, born in what is now the Medway Towns in Kent, England. He rose to become a samurai under Tokugawa Ieyasu, a powerful daimyō who later became the founder and first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate.

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