Research: Brits spend 395 hours per year watching TV series

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Brits dedicate 7.6 hours per week to their favourite series – that’s 395.2 hours per year – with one in three (30.6 per cent) tuning in for 10 hours or more each week, according to research by comparethemarket.

When it comes to getting hooked on a show, almost half (48.6 per cent) say the best shows will have them gripped within the first half an hour, while a further 29.6 per cent are glued to their screens by the end of the first episode.

According to the study, viewing habits vary by city, with those in Leeds and Norwich exceeding the national average (8.3 hours per week), compared to those in Manchester who watch for two hours less each week (6.3 hours).


But which 2020/21 series got Brits the most hooked? The top 10 are as follows:

Rank

TV series

% of viewers who were hooked

% of viewers who were hooked in the first half an hour

1

The Undoing

88.8%

45.4%

2

Squid Game

88.5%

48.3%

3

Mare of Easttown

88.1%

43.0%

4

Normal People

86.8%

44.7%

5

Ted Lasso

86.6%

41.2%

6

The Queen’s Gambit

86.4%

48.1%

7

Killing Eve

85.5%

51.2%

8

Ratched

85.4%

42.7%

9

The Mandalorian

85.1%

45.2%

10

Emily in Paris

85.0%

42.6%

After hitting screens in 2020, The Undoing takes the top spot as the most watchable series, with 88.8 per cent of Brits reporting it as the show that hooked them the most.

The Netflix sensation Squid Game comes in a close second, with almost nine in 10 (88.5 per cent) viewers gripped by it – and nearly half (48.4 per cent) revealing that they were hooked within the first 10 to 30 minutes.

Mare of Easttown (88.1 per cent), Normal People (86.8 per cent), and Ted Lasso (86.6 per cent) make up the rest of the top five, with Emily in Paris (85 per cent) finalising the top 10.

The likes of WandaVision, Schitt’s Creek, Bridgerton, The Flight Attendant and The Handmaid’s Tale just missed out on the top 10.

What turns us off a TV series?

When it comes to Brits’ biggest TV turn offs, the pace of the series is key for keeping them hooked, with a show being too slow-paced deterring viewers the most (45.6 per cent), and the start being too slow also putting viewers off (36.7 per cent).

Getting the characters and storyline spot on shouldn’t be overlooked, with almost two in five (37.1 per cent) saying they won’t watch a show if they dislike the main characters. And almost a third of viewers (31.1 per cent) say they’ll switch off if the storyline is too predictable, or if it’s not realistic or believable.

Which shows hooked Brits the fastest
?

Capturing the attention of viewers over a few episodes is impressive, but hooking your audience within just half an hour is something special – and it’s a feat achieved by BBC spy thriller Killing Eve.

When the show’s third season was released in April 2020, 51.2 per cent of viewers were committed by just the 30-minute mark – made even more remarkable considering two thirds of Brits (62.1 per cent) tuned in.

The show to have fans hooked second fastest is the historical drama The Crown. Four seasons in, the show still manages to engage fans, with 48.6 per cent spellbound by the royal goings-on within half an hour of the first episode.

Contrastingly, WandaVision proved to be the slowest-burning series, hooking just 37.5 per cent of fans within the first half an hour. The show likely benefited from Marvel’s loyal following, with viewers happy to stick around after the first episode. And it was certainly worth it, with 83.9 per cent completely fixated by the end of the third episode.


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