Why ‘Tulsa King’ Could Be Paramount+’s Biggest Hit Yet | Chart

Sylvester Stallone’s first foray into television looks like it’ll pay off in a big way, both for the veteran action star and Paramount+, the streaming service that’ll be home to his upcoming series “Tulsa King.”

Here’s one key indicator: “Tulsa King” has more followers than “1883” — the hit “Yellowstone” spinoff series — had three weeks before its December 2021 release, according to Whip Media viewership data, which is based on more than 23 million global registered users of the TV Time app and allows fans to track their favorite TV shows and movies.

Indeed, “Tulsa King” has more than double the amount of followers “1883” had three weeks before the show debuted. Put another way, “Tulsa King” has 117% more followers than “1883” at the same time leading up to their series premieres. By following a show within TV Time, users are indicating they intend to watch a series.

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That’s a big deal, especially when you consider how strong “1883” was out of the gate. The “Yellowstone” prequel series, starring Sam Elliott, crushed the Paramount+ record for most-watched original series debut back in December.

“Tulsa King” looks to have a bit of the same magic going for it. For one, it was created by Taylor Sheridan, the co-creator of “Yellowstone” and the man behind “1883.”

Stallone’s first move into TV doesn’t hurt the intrigue factor, either, and the show’s premise — a New York mafia captain who was just released from prison goes to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to establish a new criminal organization — is promising. Add in renowned “The Sopranos” writer and “Boardwalk Empire” creator Terrence Winter as showrunner and Paramount+ looks to have a recipe for success on its hands.

Pre-release followers for Paramount+’s “Tulsa King” vs “1883” (Whip Media)
Pre-release followers for Paramount+’s “Tulsa King” vs “1883” (Whip Media)

Another obvious but nonetheless important reason for “Tulsa King” to capitalize on what looks like will be the new biggest debut for Paramount+: It’s an opportunity to hook fans immediately. “1883” was able to do that. From Dec. 19, when the show debuted to Feb. 27, when its season wrapped up, “1883” was the 11th most-watched series on both linear and streaming services in the U.S., according to Whip Media’s viewership data.

A similar run for “Tulsa King” would be a win for Paramount+, clearly, but the show will face stiff competition. Just looking at November alone, Netflix has its historical horror series “1899” premiering and Disney+ has its “Willow” series, based on the popular ‘80s flick, coming out. (Both “1899” and “Willow” are among the Top 10 most-anticipated new shows still to be released this year, according to Whip Media’s data.) Meanwhile, the second season of “The White Lotus” hit HBO Max on Nov. 6.

But considering the talent behind the camera, coupled with the starpower of Stallone, “Tulsa King” looks up to the fight. The data backs it up, too.

Sean Burch is a marketing insights analyst at Whip Media, a WrapPRO partner. Click here for more from Whip Media.

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