The Most Popular Digital Original Comedies

23 June, 2016

While big-budget often get the most attention when it comes to digital original series, many high-quality comedies are also being produced. The most well-known, Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, borders these two genres so well that it has been nominated for Emmys in both the drama and comedy categories. Other digital original comedies are more traditional sitcoms, others are animated, and still others have elements of sketch comedy.

To explore the demand for these digital original comedies, the demand for 50 titles from six SVOD platforms were averaged over the last four weeks, from May 23rd to June 19th. The ten most popular shows by average Demand Expressions™ are listed below:

As the biggest producer of digital original content, it is not too surprising that the majority of the top ten digital original comedies are from Netflix. The two non-Netflix shows both began on broadcast networks before being renewed by an SVOD platform: Yahoo’s now-cancelled Community still has relatively high demand, while Hulu’s The Mindy Project has nearly the same demand.

However, the first four comedies are all Netflix originals. Orange is the New Black leads with over 1.8 times the demand of the next-most popular title, the sitcom Fuller House. Grace and Frankie and Lady Dynamite, two female-focused comedies, both released new seasons in May, which may contribute to their high demand.

Netflix may have the most comedies in the top ten, but as noted before, these shows all have different natures. What type of comedy is most popular? The demand for each subgenre (with more than one show) was averaged and the results plotted:

Led by Orange is the New Black, comedy dramas are the most popular subgenre. Sitcoms, the most common category with 16 out of 50 digital original comedies, have about 75% of the demand of comedy dramas. With only three entries—The Mindy Project, Netflix’s Love, and Yahoo’s Burning Love—romantic comedies have nearly the same average demand as the sitcoms. Sketch comedies have the least demand by a large margin. However, as the range of subgenres in the top ten indicates, a hit comedy can take any form.


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