Apple TV+ prison drama Black Bird soars to top of charts


Black Bird recap: Once again, Ray Liotta steals the show.
The limited series features a compelling performance by the late, great Ray Liotta.
Photo: Apple TV+

Black Bird is the latest hit for Apple TV+. The prison drama has been one of the top 10 most watched streaming shows for three weeks straight now, according to a company that tracks viewership.

The series is not only popular, it’s getting rave reviews from critics.

Black Bird is a hit for Apple TV+

Suppose things went sideways and you somehow ended up with a 10-year prison sentence. But authorities offer you freedom if you do just one thing for them: transfer to a super-max facility for the criminally insane, befriend a serial killer who may soon get out and get him to confess more of his crimes.

That’s the deal offered to Jimmy Keene (played by Taron Egerton) in Black Bird, playing now on Apple TV+.

Enough people were intrigued to quickly make the show a hit. It premiered on July 8, and was on the top 10 most streamed shows in the U.S. the week of July 11-to-17, according to data from JustWatch, which tracks the streaming business.

And Black Bird stayed in the top 10 most popular series ever since. It’s never reached No. 1, but that first week it was at No. 5, the next week it was at No. 8, and during the week of July 25-to-31 it was at No. 7.

Seriously good TV

The Apple TV+ limited series is adapted from the true crime memoir In With The Devil: A Fallen Hero, A Serial Killer, and A Dangerous Bargain for Redemption by James Keene and Hillel Levin.

In addition to Egerton as Jimmy Keene and the late Ray Liotta as “Big Jim” Keene, Black Bird‘s cast includes Paul Walter Hauser as the accused serial killer. Sepideh Moafi and Greg Kinnear also hold down roles.

The Cult of Mac review of the most recent episode says, “Superlative work from actors Paul Walter Hauser, Ray Liotta and Laney Stiebing pulls the show into greatness.”

The series earned a 98% critics’ approval rating from the review-aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. Its audience approval rating is 95% – not surprising given the popularity of the series.

The first five episodes of Black Bird are available now on Apple TV+. The sixth and final one premieres Friday, August 5. Watching comes with $4.99 per month subscription to Apple’s streaming service.

David Snow contributed to this article.


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