Netflix reveals how many episodes each show took to get us hooked

Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, said that this observation backs up his company’s business model of providing fans with entire series of hit shows in one go, rather than releasing the episodes as weekly instalments. The results ranged from shows that hooked viewers as early as episode 2, such as Breaking Bad and Bates Motel, to shows like How I Met Your Mother, which didn’t really grab the Netflix audience until episode 8.


The pilot episode used to be the litmus test for TV shows – screw it up and you can forget a full series commission, attract limp ratings and you won’t be getting a second season.

Meanwhile, it took until Episode Three in Orange Is The New Black, with fans identifying the moment insane Eyes drops both poems and fluids in her roller-coaster romance with Piper in Orange is the New Black.

It wasn’t until episode 8 for Arrow and How I Met Your Mother to gain its loyal season 1 fans, though.

Daredevil: Episode five, when we see Matt’s experience of life-what he calls a “world on fire”.

Surprisingly, it’s never the pilot episode that reels you in. For the purposes of the study, they defined the “hooked episode” as the one which, after viewing, led 70% or more of the viewers to finish the season.

Of course, being a streaming service, Netflix is able to gather all kinds of numbers and statistics. Viewers might grow to really like a show if they have the ability to watch more than one episode in a sitting so they can better decide if it’s worth continuing. The report suggested that Australians and New Zealand wanted a little more convincing time to commit one or two episodes than the rest of the world.

House of Cards: Episode three, When Frank Underwood leaves put out a fire in his home district in South Carolina.

It’s important to note that Netflix is a platform designed specifically with binge watching in mind, allowing viewers to avoid the rigid time slots and annoying commercials of standard cable television. Mad Men and The Blacklist, for instance didn’t suck in viewers until episode six, but Suits, The Walking Dead, and Sons of Anarchy made you ache for another hour of sweet, sweet entertainment after only two episodes.

A significant part of why Netflix is such a great video streaming platform is due to the complicated mathematical algorithms that predict the type of content viewers might be interested in watching next.


The episode deals with a judge who believes that main character Harvey (Gabriel Macht) had an affair with his wife, which could affect a case he’s arguing.

All about the binge: New Netflix data shows which episodes get us hooked