What are people’s favourite shows to binge-watch on Netflix?

8 Jun 2016

American Horror Story Hotel, via Netflix

Netflix has taken a look at the figures and determined that horrors and thrillers just won’t let us be, with seasons of American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad and Dexter devoured in less than a week on the streaming platform.

How many episodes of BoJack Horseman or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt can you watch in one sitting? The odds are not that many, with Netflix revealing that viewing habits across numerous genres showed that ‘irreverent comedies’ are something we savour, rather than devour.

Dramas like Homeland, House of Cards, Narcos and The Good Wife capture our attention for a little longer, but it’s not until you reach into the thriller and horror categories that viewers’ bingeing really takes hold.

Future Human


Savour or devour?

Looking at more than 100 TV shows, across 190 countries, Netflix basically built a scale of the genres. At the ‘savour’ end of the scale, comedies and dramas were watched, on average, in sittings of less than two hours. At the ‘devour’ end, people spent more than two hours viewing.

Those figures are extraordinary. We all know people who watch a good bit of TV, but for the average to be so long is quite something.

A telling result of Netflix’s findings is that higher-energy shows, such as Scream, The Walking Dead, American Horror Story and The 100 are ‘devoured’, while heavier shows like The Americans, Bloodline and The Bridge are watched at slower rates.

Netflix Binge Scale

Netflix Binge Scale

The scale of truth

“As The Binge Scale indicates, the viewing experience of a series can range from the emotional to the thought-provoking,” said Cindy Holland, VP of original content at Netflix.

“Netflix helps you to find a series to binge no matter your mood or occasion, and the freedom to watch that series at your own pace – whether that’s to appreciate the drama of Bloodline or power through Orange is the New Black.”

The standout shows featured in the Netflix Binge Scale for the UK and Ireland are:

Savour (< two hours)

IRREVERENT COMEDIES: BoJack Horseman, F is for Family, Club de Cuervos, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
POLITICAL DRAMAS: House of Cards, Homeland, The Good Wife
SUPERHERO DRAMAS: Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Marvel’s Daredevil, Gotham
CRIME DRAMAS: Fargo, Better Call Saul, Bloodline
HISTORICAL DRAMAS: Narcos, Peaky Blinders

Devour (> two hours)

DRAMATIC COMEDIES: Orange is the New Black,  Flaked
SCI-FI: Sense8, Orphan Black, Between,  The 4400
HORROR: American Horror Story, Z Nation, Scream
THRILLERS: Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, Bates Motel

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic