The leading TV series in comedy and drama subgenres for 2018 to date

4 October, 2018

Image: Blindspot, NBC

Drama and Comedy are undoubtedly the biggest scripted genres in the TV world. By analysing demand data from every country in the world from January to August 2018, Parrot Analytics has uncovered some insights about how the world enjoys these genres.

In particular, we have examined the original drama and comedy series from the world’s digital distribution platforms to see which Digital Original titles – titles where the most recent season premiered on a streaming service – are most popular around the globe.

Which comedy subgenres generated the most global demand in 2018 to date?

To discover which comedy subgenres are making audiences laugh worldwide, across all networks and platforms including SVOD services, we took the global average demand for every comedy title over January to August 2018 and then aggregated this audience demand by the subgenre each title belongs in.

The chart below shows the ten comedy subgenres that have the highest demand in the world:

The clear result here is that the world loves sitcoms. Over 2018 to date, scripted TV series in the sitcom subgenre have over three times as much demand as the second highest demand subgenre. With the popularity of this subgenre being driven by mega-hits like The Big Bang Theory, it is no surprise that sitcoms dominate so much.

In fact, to help contextualize each subgenre within the comedy space, this table shows which individual title has the highest demand within each subgenre for 2018 (January through to August):

Comedy dramas are the world’s second most in-demand comedy subgenre, with the biggest individual comedy-drama title being Digital Original Orange Is The New Black.

As well as live-action sitcom, the subgenre’s animated cousin also is one of the top comedy subgenres in the world. Perhaps surprisingly, long-running favorite The Simpsons is no longer the most in-demand show in this subgenre, coming in second behind Rick And Morty.

Which comedy Digital Originals had the biggest global audience?

To put the spotlight on the original comedy titles from streaming services, we placed the top five digital original comedies on a demand distribution curve, to show how their global demand in 2018 to August compares to an average title (across all genres).

As well as topping comedy-dramas, Orange Is The New Black is also the world’s top Digital Original comedy. With nearly five times the global demand of the ‘standard’ title, Orange Is The New Black is one of the top 0.1% titles in the world.

Interestingly, there is still high global demand for Community, the sixth and final season of which was a digital original comedy for now-defunct streamer Yahoo.

Which drama subgenres generated the most global demand in 2018 to date?

Using the same methods as were used for the comedy subgenres, the chart below shows the ten drama subgenres that have the highest demand in the world:

This shows that the The world’s most in-demand drama subgenre is crime drama, which has 1.7 times the demand of the next highest subgenre. From January to August 2018, the individual crime drama with the highest global demand is Blindspot. The worldwide most in-demand shows for all of the top drama subgenres are listed in the following table:

After crime dramas, audiences around the world enjoy sci-fi dramas most, with the single title with the highest demand being Digital Original title Stranger Things.

Sci-fi drama’s close relation Fantasy drama is the drama subgenre with the third highest total demand in 2018. This genre is still topped by the extremely popular Game Of Thrones.

Although it ranked highly in the comedy subgenre list, as the name implies, the comedy-drama subgenre is also part of the drama genre. It is the fifth most in-demand of the drama subgenres globally.

Which drama Digital Originals had the biggest global audience?

This second demand distribution curve shows the top five digital original drama titles and how their global demand compares to the average title over the January to August 2018 period:

Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why, Black Mirror and Narcos all had their most recent season premiere on Netflix. Of these, Stranger Things is the most in-demand drama Digital Original in the world over these dates; it has over 10 times more demand than the ‘standard’ title and is one of the top 0.03% of titles overall in the world, earning our coveted “Amazing” label on the curve.

Despite the crime drama subgenre having more total demand that sci-fi dramas over all titles worldwide, when it comes to the most in-demand Digital Original titles sci-fi dramas are more common. Of the top five here, only Narcos is a crime drama and the other four titles are sci-fi dramas.

For more information, reach out to Parrot Analytics for a live demonstration of our Demand Portal, or watch our latest product video.

The data in this article are based on Demand Expressions (DEX). DEX is the globally standardized TV measurement metric developed by Parrot Analytics, which represents the total audience demand being expressed for a title, within a market. Audience demand reflects the desire, engagement and viewership, weighted by importance; so a stream/download is a higher expression of demand than a ‘like’/comment.

Get a glimpse into the future of global audience demand measurement for TV shows, movies and talent and learn from consolidated insights and strategic thinking focused on the entertainment industry.

Exclusive global, regional and market-specific content and talent analyses
Rank 15,000+ talent in 50+ markets across all platforms
Rank 20k+ TV shows and 12k+ movies in 50+ markets across all platforms

The Global Television Demand Report

  • Truly understand the global SVOD originals landscape
  • Comprehensive platform market share benchmarks
  • Released each quarter covering 10 global markets
  • Get exclusive access to our comprehensive reports
  • Available for FREE with a DEMAND360LITE subscription