Velma’s Premiere Was HBO Max’s Most-Watched Animated Series Debut, Ever


HBO Max sees high early returns from its newly-premiered Velma series as it reportedly sets viewership records for the streaming service.

Despite unflattering reviews from fans and critics, HBO Max’s Velma series is bringing in record viewership numbers for the streaming platform.

According to MovieWeb, Velma became the most-watched animated series debut in HBO Max’s history after its first two episodes premiered on Jan. 12. Mindy Kaling, the executive producer of Velma and the voice behind the titular Scooby-Doo franchise character, confirmed the good news, thanking fans for watching the show.

RELATED: Every Scooby-Doo Reference in Velma’s Series Premiere

Reception to Velma’s Take on Scooby Doo

Velma chronicles Velma Dinkley, often touted as the brainiest member of the Scooby-Doo gang, and her many adventures alongside other Mystery Inc. members before the group officially formed. The series is the first in the Scooby-Doo franchise not to feature the popular Great Dane due to studio mandates by Warner Bros. executives and the struggle to conceive an adult take on the character. The show sees Velma try to solve the disappearance of her mother, as well as various local murders.

Though the viewership numbers indicate interest from fans in Velma, the reviews for the adult animated mystery series have been mixed at best. At the time of writing, Velma holds an average audience score of 7 percent on Rotten Tomatoes . Fans have been critical of the storytelling and the raceswapping of Velma as she’s portrayed as South Asian in the show. That said, critics have pointed out the potential the show has, pointing to its emotional depth and unique story arcs, plus enough comedic gags to keep viewers invested.

RELATED: HBO Max’s Velma Offers the Best Version of Shaggy

Along with Kaling, who has also starred in The Office, The Mindy Project and Never Have I Ever, Velma features Veep‘s Sam Richardson as Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Glenn Howerton as Fred Jones and Hustler actor Constance Wu as Velma‘s best friend Daphne Blake. The show also includes a number of characters played by comedians Russell Peters, Wanda Sykes and “Weird Al” Yankovic.

There are already plans at Warner Bros. for a Season 2 of Velma with reports citing a listing on the Entertainment Identifier Registry showing a 2023 premiere window for it. The show originally received a straight-to-series order from HBO Max in February 2021.

The next two Season 1 episodes of Velma will premiere on HBO Max on Jan. 19, with future episodes dropping in pairs until the Feb. 9 finale.

Source: MovieWeb


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