Insights

The most popular television in the U.S. across all platforms (16 - 22 August 2020)

24 August, 2020

Image: The Legend of Korra, Nickelodeon

Overall - Demand VS Market Average Copy.jpg

We return to business as usual in this week’s chart of the ten most popular television series in the United States. After two weeks as the top ranked show, Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy drops to rank 2. With 98.7 times the average US series demand, the superhero series comes in narrowly behind Nickelodeon’s beloved cartoon Spongebob Squarepants, which is 101.6 times more in demand than the US average series.

We have a new show in the top ten this week in the form of Nickelodeon’s The Legend Of Korra, the sequel series to Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender. Compared to last week, The Legend Of Korra grew in demand by 28.7% against the market average, moving up from rank 24 to rank 7.

The Legend Of Korra‘s rise up the ranks of the most popular television series was sparked by its arrival on US Netflix on August 14th. This follows the trail established by Avatar: The Last Airbender, which has been a regular presence in the US Top Ten since its own arrival on Netflix on May 18th this year. This Korra-related event has additionally driven more demand for Avatar: The Last Airbender, which gained 10.1% demand against the market from last week.

The strong demand for both Avatar series means that the US Top Ten is dominated by animation titles. Only three of the most popular televisions series in the USA this week are live action: The Umbrella Academy, Netflix’s Stranger Things and HBO’s Game Of Thrones. Of these three, only The Umbrella Academy has released any new episodes in 2020. With the well-documented industry-wide difficulties in live-action production due to the pandemic, this trend towards animation seems likely to continue.

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Turning to the United States digital original chart, The Umbrella Academy is still the most demanded show in this top ten. All episodes of The Umbrella Academy Season 2 were released at once on July 31st and now four weeks later demand for the series is declining. Compared to the show’s market demand last week, audience enthusiasm has dropped by 21.6%.

This is a common pattern for all-at-once releases; while they have a very high post-release peak compared to a similar weekly release series, they typically do not sustain demand for as long. Of course, there are always exceptions to this general pattern: look no further than this week’s second ranked Stranger Things for an all-at-once release that maintains demand extremely well.

The fastest rising series in the US digital original chart is Netflix’s Lucifer, with market-relative demand growth of 36.2% from last week. The supernatural drama moved up from last week’s rank 7 to rank 4 after Part 1 of Season 5 was released on August 21st. As the new episodes of Lucifer were released towards end of this week demand is likely to rise further next week. Season 5 was not originally planned to be split into two parts, but production delays due to COVID-19 meant that the second half of the season could not be completed in time. There is no official release date for Season 5 Part 2 yet.

Three returning entries to the digital original top ten round off the list this week. Dramas Dark and Narcos from Netflix both move up three ranks to reach 8th and 10th respectively. Amazon Prime Video’s superhero series The Boys does likewise to reach 9th.

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