Prime Video's Reacher is our first huge renewed TV show of 2022, and we're not just saying "huge" because it stars an absolute unit of a man in Alan Ritchson. Yes, while the Tom Cruise-led adaptations of the Jack Reacher book series were only seen as moderate successes, Amazon Prime's quick renewal is one of a couple of signs that Reacher is a huge hit.
One of our picks for the new shows and movies to watch, Reacher only debuted last Friday (Feb. 4) before getting its renewal announced three days later, yesterday (Feb. 7). It also appears to be a success by Amazon's own numbers.
Amazon told Deadline (opens in new tab) that "Reacher ranked in its top five most-watched series ever in the U.S. and globally over a 24-hour period." This may be because the streaming service opted to release all eight episodes at once, and not in a weekly schedule as we've seen for other shows, and expect for The Boys season 3
Amazon also notes that Reacher is "among its highest-rated original series, with subscribers giving it an average rating of 4.7 out of 5."
The folks behind Reacher won't be shy on material for the next season (or any after that, either). Lee Child's best-selling Jack Reacher series spans 26 books, and Reacher season 1 only tackled the first of them.
Ritchson shared his excitement about the renewal on his personal Instagram (opens in new tab), stating "Whoaaaaaa!!! This is incredible! Unlike Reacher who chooses to say nothing, I’m simply speechless. In just our opening weekend you’ve made #ReacheronPrime one of @primevideo most watched shows EVER! That is insane."
Analysis: What went right with Amazon's Reacher?
Well, let's start with the obvious: the 5-foot-7-inch Tom Cruise wasn't a good body double for the fictional titular character, a 6'5" mountain of a man. The brawny Alan Ritchson (who is credited on Wikipedia (opens in new tab) as 6'2") fits the part much more appropriately, and likely made fans of the books a lot more excited than Cruise did.
CNN (opens in new tab) refers to the storyline of Reacher season 1 as "scrawny," and acknowledges that the series is clever in not asking too much of Ritchson, who "isn't exactly pressed to exhibit much range in the role, but he's physically imposing and just fine at mixing glowering menace with smart-alecky comebacks."
And these days, that might just be enough. TV Guide (opens in new tab) complimented Reacher on its "sly humor" and emphasized that the show does its most important job right, as "a big dude kicking butt is always fun." That same review ends by noting "Reacher ... is a perfectly fine dad show but not a must-see," and "doesn't have aspirations to go much further beyond that."