Netflix Data Reveals Which Episode of a TV Series Gets Viewers Hooked on the Show

23 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

From ‘Suits’ to ‘House of Cards’, these shows got viewers hooked and bingeing fast, Netflix study says.

A new study by Netflix analyzed 25 popular shows — both Netflix original series and other network shows — and determined that the average episode users got hooked on was episode four. “In our research of more than 20 shows across 16 markets, we found that no one was ever hooked on the pilot,” Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix, said in statement. “This gives us confidence that giving our members all episodes at once is more aligned with how fans are made.” The Data was pulled from accounts all across the world that started watching a specific series between January 2015 and July 2015.The pilot episode used to be the litmus test for TV shows – screw it up and you can forget a full series commission, attract limp ratings and you won’t be getting a second season. Netflix analyzed global streaming data for the first seasons of several popular shows looking for signs of when people latched onto a specific title and began bingeing. It wasn’t a good thing for television, forcing creators to cram in as much action and event and information as possible into the first hour of a show in the hope that it would hook people in, often at the cost of their original, true conception of how the narrative should unfold.

Acclaimed cable hits “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead” and Toronto-filmed legal drama “Suits” had Canadians hooked by the second episode. Canadians were on board by the third episode of Netflix political drama “House of Cards,” while newcomers “Bloodline,” “Grace and Frankie” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” had fans reeled in by their fourth episodes.

Breaking Bad for instance, had a pretty damn compelling pilot, but it was when the dissolved corpse of a former drug dealer rained down from Jesse’s ceiling that viewers stayed locked in to find out how Walt and Jesse would clean their mess up. But it might take 30, 60, 90, 120 minutes to really get enough information for you to decide if you want to invest with these characters and with this world.” “Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman has decades of network experience under her belt. But the veteran showrunner said Netflix encouraged a fresh approach to crafting the pilot for her new series “Grace and Frankie,” which stars screen legends Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. “The freedom that the writer gets from that is not having to establish every single character and every single thing and ‘What’s all of their back stories?’ You don’t have to do that for Netflix.

Sarandos said the ability to binge-watch programming has likely had an impact on conventional networks, which are now giving shows more time to build followings. “Because of that full season order, you can invest in a show and actually make a better show than trying to do a pilot.

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