Tuesday, August 13, 2013

YEAH, SCIENCE!  James Poniewozik attributes Breaking Bad's boffo ratings to the Netflix binge-watching effect.


  1. Randy6:16 PM

    This also, I think, highlights the problem / limitation / annoyance with Netflix's current model for distributing their original series. People binge-watched Breaking Bad to get caught up... and then we all watched it live on Sunday. And so "Tread lightly" became a key phrase on social media, because we had all just watched the same episode. I couldn't be happier for Breaking Bad to have this moment, and I say this a member of the much much smaller audience that had tuned in when the pilot aired back in 2008.

    Lots of us have been talking about Orange is the New Black on twitter, facebook, elsewhere - but we were all at different points in the season, so it actually made it hard to talk about in any detail. And it was also hard to build any buzz consistently. What if Netflix had released an ep or 2 each week, with the previously available episodes still available for newbies to watch? Two or three months of consistent buzz-building has GOT to be better for the show than what Netflix is currently doing, right?

    I know, I know... I'm looking at this from the old-school TV network approach, and Netflix is different and blah blah blah. (Get off my lawn.) But social media has really made me more interested in watching more TV live - both so I don't get spoiled and so that I can participate in conversations online in real time. And, yes, I know that social media users are a small subset of the show's audience... but I can't help but think it would be better for Netflix's originals to have as many people watching the same episode at the same time as possible.

  2. It's very hard to tell in part because of Netflix's steadfast refusal to release any viewership data for its original shows. I'll note that the buzz on House of Cards and Orange is the New Black was enough to get my parents to subscribe "just for the free month" so they could binge-watch while Summer TV doldrums continue.

  3. Randy6:53 PM

    ... And from a business perspective, wouldn't it make more sense for Netflix to spread out new episodes over 2-3 months? Get them with a free month, keep them longer with new eps of shows?

  4. chuckie8:40 PM

    Speaking of Breaking Bad and Science, did anyone watch the Mythbusters Breaking Bad special?

  5. I've noticed a HUGE uptick in interest in this "season" over last, so I think this must be right. Some of it is probably due to the "This Is The End" phenomenon, but many, many people have caught up with BB over the past year (or did so last year, etc.). I did my marathoning in 2011, in time to catch Season 4. It's hard to dispute the fact that Netflix, DVDs, iTunes, and the like have allowed serialized shows to build audience over time, and -- as someone who loves heavily serialized programming -- I cheer that development.

    The question I'm now facing is: As someone who owns Season 4 on Blu Ray and one or two other seasons on iTunes and/or DVD, will I be able to resist the inevitable "entire series on Blu Ray" when it comes out (I assume) in time for the holiday season? I'm torn, especially given that owning content on media seems a bit passe in the streaming age. But, that said, there will be a huge draw...