Demand data: Quantifying TV audience attention in the U.S. (20 – 26 October 2019)

Image: Castle Rock, Hulu

The top three series capturing American audience attention remain the same compared to last week. Netflix’s Stranger Things maintains its number one spot in the US overall demand rankings for the 18th consecutive week, but its demand dropped 7% compared to the previous week. SpongeBob SquarePants held onto its second-place spot while its demand was down 9.5%, and Saturday Night Live maintained third place despite a 14.8% dip in demand.

The Walking Dead – 2018’s most in-demand show in the world – jumped up to fourth place as AMC airs episodes of its tenth season. Another currently airing linear series rounds out the overall top five with FX’s American Horror Story moving up two spots compared to last week. The show has been a mainstay in the US Top 10 since its current season 1984 – influenced by horror slasher films of the 1980s – premiered on September 18. Creator Ryan Murphy’s proven ability to capture and retain audience attention is why Netflix signed him for $300 million.

DC Universe’s Titans returns to the Top 10 overall charts after being bumped out last week by a surging Breaking Bad. Titans is released on a weekly schedule, as opposed to many digital original shows that are released all at once, and has consistently placed in the top 10 during its current Season Two run.

The top three digital originals in the US also remained the same week over week – Netflix’s Stranger Things, followed by DC Universe’s Titans, and Netflix’s Big Mouth. However, all three saw dips in overall demand compared to last week – including a steep 26% drop for Big Mouth, a typical pattern for an all at once released series coming back down to earth following a big post-release bump.

Demand for Netflix Original Lucifer surged 9.5% after a first look photo of the upcoming fifth and final season was revealed, moving the show from seventh to fourth most in-demand digital original.

Two Hulu titles made strong moves up the digital charts this week. The streamer released the final episode of drama Wu Tang: An American Saga, causing demand to grow 4.4% and move the series up to seventh place from 10th last week.

The biggest mover on the digital original charts this week was Hulu’s Castle Rock – a horror anthology series set in Stephen King’s fictional Castle Rock, Maine. The streamer released the first three episodes of its second season on October 23, increasing demand by 44% and moving the show from 22nd to eighth most in-demand digital original.

This season focuses on the origin story of Annie Wilkes, the nurse-from-hell of the novel Misery, famously portrayed by Kathy Bates in an Oscar-winning role in 1990. This show’s success demonstrates one more example of how entertainment companies can re-package pre-existing IP to capture the audience attention of an entire new generation.

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