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Netflix can now tell you when a TV show will hook you

Netflix has crunched the numbers on its TV shows to work out when viewers are hooked on a series.

The main revelation that came out of the research is that pilot episodes are terrible for hooking viewers.

Of the 25 TV shows examined, none of them were found by Netflix to hook the audience with the pilot.

A “hook episode” is defined as when 70% of viewers of that episode went on to complete the entire first season of a show.

Two of the worst offenders for late hooking were “Arrow” and “How I Met Your Mother”, both of which caught their viewers’ attention on episode 8.

Until now, it’s generally been thought that the pilot episode is the one and only chance for a TV show to retain an audience, but it seems that’s no longer the case.

“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,” explains ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix.

Sarandos continues: “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.”

The evidence means it’s likely that Netflix’s propensity to launch whole TV series in whole big push will continue.

Related: Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video

Here’s the full list of the “hook” episodes for the TV shows analysed by Netflix:

  • Arrow – Episode 8
  • Bates Motel – Episode 2
  • Better Call Saul – Episode 4
  • Bloodline – Episode 4
  • BoJack Horseman – Episode 5
  • Breaking Bad – Episode 2
  • Daredevil – Episode 5
  • Dexter – Episode 3
  • Gossip Girl – Episode 3
  • Grace & Frankie – Episode 4
  • How I Met Your Mother – Episode 8
  • House of Cards – Episode 3
  • Mad Men – Episode 6
  • Marco Polo – Episode 3
  • Orange Is the New Black – Episode 3
  • Once Upon A Time – Episode 6
  • 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


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