Breakout Shows - November, 2023: Peacock’s ‘Love Island Games’ highlights unscripted content advantage

7 December, 2023

Image: Love Island Games, Peacock

In this article we look at the top breakout shows of the past month. Breakout shows are the most in-demand series that have premiered in the past 100 days.

Amazon’s Gen V continued its dominance at the top of the breakout series ranking, although it did see an 11% decline in demand as audience attention moved away from the show following the season finale on November 03. It had 33.2 times the average series demand in the U.S. for the month, still outstanding considering that the show ended at the start of the month. 

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Netflix’s Blue Eye Samurai on the other hand has been showcasing a highly impressive performance since its debut on November 03. For the month of November, demand for the series went up by a whopping 813%, making it the second most in-demand show in the ranking. The success of Blue Eye Samurai further underscores the trend we recently analyzed, where audience data from 2020 to 2023 revealed that the growth in demand has far outpaced (by almost three times) the supply of adult animated shows. This is also supported by the popularity of the only other adult animated show in the ranking - Max’s Scavengers Reign which had a 158% increase in demand this month. The series took fifth place in the ranking with 25 times the average series demand. 

Some shows that had a notable decline in demand this month besides Gen V, included One Piece (-20%), Ahsoka (-29%), and The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon (-19%). The drop in demand for these shows makes sense when we consider that they all ended in September or October - which makes their presence in the ranking all the more impressive for still being able to hold enough audience attention amid the slate of new content, whilst taking third, fourth and tenth place respectively.

A few months ago - amid the strikes - we conducted an analysis to discover which platforms were most prepared for a streaming stoppage by tapping into their unscripted content. The report stated that after Discovery+, Peacock was the next best positioned platform to keep subscribers engaged with over 40% of its shows being unscripted. Sure enough, the level of demand noticed for Peacock’s Love Island Games this month just goes to show that unscripted programming is a valuable tool to keep audiences engaged. The first ever spin-off of Love IslandLove Island Games ran from November 01 - 20, had an astounding 1619% increase in demand since its launch date, and became 24.7 times more in demand than the average series in the U.S. for the month.

Apple TV+’s Lessons in Chemistry also ended on a high note this month, with a 23% increase in demand after its finale on November 22, taking seventh place in the ranking. Paramount+’s new Sheridan offering Lawmen: Bass Reeves also had a striking performance in November. The series had a 644% increase in demand and took eighth place in the ranking with 23.5 times the average series demand. The series is based on the life of the first African American Deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi River - Bass Reeves - and first premiered on November 05. Seeing that the show is set to continue airing episodes until its finale on December 17, we expect to see it climb higher with increased demand in the ranking next month as well. 

Rounding out the top 10 breakout series for November, we see Showtime’s historical political thriller mini-series Fellow Travelers in ninth place with 22.3 times the average series demand. Based on the 2007 book of the same name, Fellow Travelers premiered on October 17 and is set to air episodes weekly until December 15. With a triple digit increase in demand this month, just like Bass Reeves it is expected that the series might just have another surge next month after its finale. Meanwhile, AMC’s Daryl Dixon took tenth place in the ranking with 21.8 times the average series demand, a 19% decline. Since the show ended on October 15, it’s very likely that it will slide off the ranking next month, as audiences turn their attention to the slate of holiday releases in December.

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