Insights

Which season premiere attracted the most US audience attention this summer?

21 September, 2021

As fall sets in, we’re looking back at the TV of summer 2021. What was the most impactful premiere of summer 2021? Was it a beloved returning series that Americans were excited
about reuniting with? Or did a heavily hyped newcomer manage to grab the most attention?

You probably have some educated guesses on this subject. Although a newly debuting series, Loki debuted on June 9th with the full weight of the Marvel franchise behind it. This includes the recent releases of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and Wandavision, both of which reached Outstanding demand in 2021. Additionally, Loki boasts the star power of lead actor Tom Hiddleston, who over the period studied is the US’s most in-demand actor.

Or, maybe you’d place your bet on America’s Got Talent. With Season 16 running over the summer starting on June 1st, the reality competition show is a veteran at engaging and delighting US audiences.

To empirically answer this question, we looked at the demand data for shows that aired a new season (including debut seasons) between June 1st and August 20th. We then took the average US market multiplier for each show over the first 30 days from its premiere date to see which titles drew in the most audience attention. This 30-day average gives us the best balance between the all-at-once release schedule favored by streamers like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and the weekly release schedule preferred by networks and streamers like HBO Max.

The results are below:

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Of all the series that debuted a new season this summer, HBO Max’s Titans Season 3 has the highest demand over the premiere 30 days. Over the 30 days following the release of Titans S3 Episode 1 on 12 Aug, the show averages 46.6 times the demand of the typical series in the United States. Given that earlier seasons were highly demanded despite living on the relatively niche DC Universe platform, it’s no surprise the newest season has performed so well now that audiences can discover it easier.

The second most impactful premiere is Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso. The high demand for the show’s Season 2 premiere speaks to how quickly the show has become beloved by American audiences. As the Emmys have steadily become more populist, Ted Lasso’s high premiere demand foreshadowed the comedy’s recent Emmy triumph where it won 7 awards.

And so, despite the huge star power of Tom Hiddleston, Disney+’s Loki Season 1 only had the third most demanded summer premiere. However, this is still a very impressive accomplishment and Loki has the most in-demand premiere out of the summer’s freshman (Season 1) series.

Loki is followed by America’s Got Talent Season 16. The reality mainstay acquired 30.7 times the demand of the average series over its premiere. 

Next on the list is Season 2 of Netflix’s teen drama Outer Banks, which premiered with 27.5x average demand. This is the most demanded premiere for a series with an all at once release schedule.

Wrapping up the USA’s six most impactful premieres of summer 2021 is another freshman title, in the shape of Hulu’s miniseries Nine Perfect Strangers. Starring Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy, the drama premiered on August 18th and attracted 26.4x the average demand from US audiences over its first 30 days.

It’s clear that the most impactful premieres of this summer have been shaped by streaming releases, with only one linear series in the top six. However, this may well change for Fall premieres; in the TV calendar the Fall months are traditionally the stronghold of the networks as their heavy hitters return to the airwaves. 

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