Image: Atypical, Netflix
We are now deep into the Fall season and US TV content appears to have settled into a pattern. Demand, our TV measurement currency, reveals that the six top shows this week are identical to last week. Stranger Things, Spongebob Squarepants, Game Of Thrones, Saturday Night Live, The Walking Dead and The Flash all maintain their positions as the most demanded series in America.
However, although the rankings remained static Netflix’s Stranger Things gained 23% more demand than last week. This is due to a promotional campaign by Netflix on November 6th, dubbed ‘Stranger Things Day’. As well as tie-in promotions with other brands like Fortnite, the show’s stars shared short videos. Hints about the upcoming Season 4 also reached fans this week when the episode count and filming dates were released.
Season 4 of Adult Swim’s Rick And Morty starts airing on November 10th. In the week preceding, details of the show were teased to fans in a promotional campaign. Clearly, the brains behind Rick And Morty have been taking notes from the US number one because the trailer parodied what else but Stranger Things? The anticipation of this new season premiere gave the adult animation 25% more demand than last week and it re-enters the chart in ninth.
In the digital original chart, we have a new entry to the top ten. Netflix’s Atypical released its third season on November 1st. The comedy focuses on a teen on the autism spectrum and has been praised for its realistic depictions of relationships. Unlike some returning titles, demand for Atypical did not show a strong increase before the season premiere. However, after the Season 3 release LGBTQ+ fans were delighted by the addition of new lesbian characters. Demand for the show increased rapidly due to positive word of mouth. Due to the low pre-release and enthusiastic post-release reception it ended this week with an unusually high figure of five times last week’s demand.
The performance of Atypical is a confirmation of trends that we have seen in other titles. Demand, our TV measurement currency, has long indicated that diversity in show talent and production leads not only to higher audience satisfaction but also to increased financial rewards. You can view a recent presentation on this topic given by Parrot Analytics Partner Insights Director Ashley Alleyne-Morris here.
Finally, Hulu’s Castle Rock has gained 13% more demand week-on-week. This is enough for the Stephen King- inspired horror series to become the third most demanded digital original in the USA. The show is picking up critical acclaim, with Lizzy Caplan’s performance singled out as a standout. The weekly release format means that potential Castle Rock fans can read these reviews, decide to check out the show and then join the weekly release schedule. The effect is increasing demand for the series as the season continues. Although this is a difficult effect to plan for, it is a case where episodic releases have an advantage over series released all-at-once.