“Velma,” Mindy Kaling’s highly controversial and poorly received “Scooby-Doo” spin-off, has managed to beat “The Last of Us” in popularity this week, a recent analytic report revealed.
“Velma,” which premiered on HBO Max on Jan. 12, received mixed to negative reviews from critics and overwhelmingly negative reviews from viewers, with the animated adult series receiving an audience score of 6% on Rotten Tomatoes and an abysmal rating of 1.3 stars on IMDB, which earned it the ignominy of being the worst-rated animated show in the site’s history this week.
Despite its negative reception, “Velma” still encountered a higher-than-average demand on HBO Max. According to a report from Parrot Analytics, the series became the fourth most in-demand breakout series in the country last week, “with 37.3 times the average series demand — a whopping 127% increase from last week.”
The spike in demand, which takes into account consumer engagement such as streaming, downloads and social media, was revealed on Jan. 17.
More recently, “Velma” has managed to surpass other popular TV series, such as post-apocalyptic drama “The Last of Us.” This week, “Velma” beat the Naughty Dog video game adaptation, which received 36.3 times the demand for an average series.
The “Scooby-Doo” spin-off is now the second most in-demand breakout series in the country, right behind Netflix’s “Wednesday,” with 41.2 times the average series demand.
Created by Charlie Grandy for HBO Max, the show follows Velma Dinkley (Mindy Kaling) as she solves the mystery of her mother’s disappearance and a series of murders of teenage girls.
The show serves as an alternate origin story for the amateur crime-solving group Mystery Inc. It is also the first “Scooby-Doo” spin-off that does not feature the beloved great Dane and titular character in the main cast.
Joining Kaling are fellow actors Constance Wu as the voice of Daphne, Sam Richardson as the voice of Shaggy, and Glenn Howerton as the voice of Fred.
Speaking at the Warner Bros Discovery Upfront presentation in May 2022, Kaling, an executive producer of the show, said she could not be bothered by what critics had to say.
“Hopefully, you noticed my Velma is South Asian. If people freak out about that, I don’t care,” Kaling told audience members. “Nobody ever complained about a talking dog solving mysteries so I don’t think they’ll be upset over a brown Velma.”