Insights

Foundation: An exciting addition to the Apple TV+ catalogue

28 October, 2021

Isaac Asimov’s 1942 novel series, Foundation, has been adapted into a TV series that is exclusive to Apple TV+. The science fiction show, which first aired on Apple’s streaming service in September of this year, was renewed  for a second season just two weeks after its release. This, as well as the show’s exceptional levels of momentum and worldwide demand, is a reflection of what could be another hugely successful series that is exclusive to Apple TV+. This article will explore just how high the demand for Foundation has been over the past 30 days and what factors may have contributed to it being so well-received.

Level of Demand

Foundation, which has been adapted to screen by filmmaker David S Goyer, follows Hari Seldon, a mathematician and psychohistory expert who has the ability to predict the future. The story is centered around Foundation, a group that Seldon created to save the galactic empire through protecting and maintaining the collective knowledge of humanity. It has taken a number of decades for Asimov’s series of books to be successfully adapted onto screen. The long wait could largely be due to the story itself covering a number of centuries, as well as the incorporation of multiple plotlines. This would likely be the reason for the series to be labelled by some in the film community as “unfilmable”. However, as of September this year, the wait came to an end and the show has received a high level of demand.

The chart below shows the level of worldwide demand for Foundation over the past 30 days. With just six out of the eight episodes released and available to view, the show has reached an exceptional level of demand, averaging at 35.2 times more global demand than the average show, with a peak level of 38.7 times the average global demand.

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When comparing the show to others worldwide, Foundation, measured against the demand for the average TV series, is the 41st most in-demand show. This is an impressive achievement for such a new release.

The chart below shows other series at around this level of demand across all genres. Foundation is the newest of these shows, with Disney Plus’ Marvel’s What If…? having been released a month prior and Amazon Prime’s Invincible, which was initially aired in March of this year. All three series, alongside Disney Plus’ The Mandalorian, released at the end of 2019, are within the science fiction genre.

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The high rate of growth in Foundation’s demand in such a short space of time speaks to an exceptional level of momentum. The chart below shows that the Apple TV+ original has 44.4 times more global momentum - which refers to the speed of demand growth within the first twelve months of its initial release - than the average show. This is another impressive feat, considering only 1.53% of all shows have achieved this level of momentum.

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Global Demand Distribution

There is an outstanding demand for Foundation in a number of countries. The chart below shows the countries with the highest level of demand for the show over the past thirty days. The United States sits at the top of this list, with 19.6 times more demand for Foundation than the average show. The second highest, with 15.2 times more demand than the average show, is Great Britain and the third, with 13.2 times more demand than the average show, is Canada.

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Demand for Science Fiction Genre

There is a relatively broad definition of what classifies a show as one that is within the science fiction genre. However, it can effectively be described as a form of fiction that deals a lot with science, whether that is imagined or plausible science, and its impact on individuals or society. A lot of stories within this genre are centered around the future, parallel universes, or involve space exploration. With some even describing this genre as one of the most dominant genres of the 21st century, it could be said that Foundation - which was based off of Isaac Asimov’s 1942 novel series of the same name - has arrived at a good time, even though it was long-awaited.

The chart below shows where Foundation sits amongst other shows within the science fiction genre. The show sits at the 14th most in demand science fiction show worldwide, with 32.2 times more global demand than the average show. This is just below The Mandalorian and Marvel’s What If?…, which are both on Disney Plus. With 52 times more global demand than the average show, Stranger Things is at the top of this list, followed by Rick and Morty, with 49.8 times more global demand, and, another Disney Plus original, WandaVision, with 48.9 times more global demand.

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An important point to note when looking at the above chart is that all listed shows here are within the exceptional level of demand - a level that only 0.2% of shows reach. This is an indication of just how popular the science fiction genre is at this time.

See, with 38 times more global demand than the average show, is also listed on the above chart. This is another successful new science fiction release from Apple TV+. The show, which stars Aquaman’s Jason Momoa and was directed by Peaky Blinders’ Steven Knight, was released in 2019 and was renewed in June for its third season. The success of Foundation’s first season, and its quick renewal for its second, could lead to an even greater growth in demand than what has been seen with See.

Conclusion

With its multiple storylines that span centuries, the adaption of Foundation to screen was clearly an ambitious project. However, if an exceptional level of initial global demand is anything to go by, perhaps the ambition has paid off. This high amount of demand for the series is something that also speaks to the demand for the science fiction genre as a whole. While Stranger ThingsRick & Morty, and WandaVision are currently at the top of the current science fiction list, perhaps it’s only a matter of time before we see Foundation, with its own exceptional level of demand and renewal for second season, at the top as well.

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