With some notable exceptions (looking at you, The Shield, Breaking Bad, LOST), pilot episodes often fall flat. Viewers don't always love exposition, and even great shows sometimes take a few episodes (or even seasons) to hit their stride.
Netflix recently looked at its streaming data in an attempt to pinpoint when viewers get hooked on certain shows – and the company pretty much confirmed that nobody is really "hooked" after just the pilot episode.
“Given the precious nature of primetime slots on traditional TV, a series pilot is arguably the most important point in the life of the show,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix. “However, in our research of more than 20 shows across 16 markets, we found that no one was ever hooked on the pilot. This gives us confidence that giving our members all episodes at once is more aligned with how fans are made.”
Oh, so it's all about proving the Netflix business model of binge-watching. Ok, fine. But it did produce some interesting results.
Here are some popular shows and their corresponding "hook" episodes:
– Arrow: Episode 8
– Bates Motel: Episode 2
– Better Call Saul: Episode 4
– Bloodline: Episode 4
– BoJack Horseman: Episode 5
– Breaking Bad: Episode 2
– Dexter: Episode 3
– Gossip Girl: Episode 3
– Grace & Frankie: Episode 4
– House of Cards: Episode 3
– How I Met Your Mother: Episode 8
– Mad Men: Episode 6
– Marco Polo: Episode 3
– Marvel’s Daredevil: Episode 5
– Once Upon a Time: Episode 6
– Orange is the New Black: Episode 3
– Pretty Little Liars: Episode 4
– Scandal: Episode 2
– Sense8: Episode 3
– Sons of Anarchy: Episode 2
– Suits: Episode 2
– The Blacklist: Episode 6
– The Killing: Episode 2
– The Walking Dead: Episode 2
– Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Episode 4
What does "hooked" mean to Netflix? "70% of viewers who watched the hooked episode went on to complete season one or more poetically, when members were hooked and there was no turning back," says the company.
Wait, it took people two episodes to fall in love with Breaking Bad? Wtf?