Netflix Study: You Binge Hard on Thrillers, Go Slower With Comedies

When you’re Breaking Bad you do it at a breakneck pace, a House of Cards is dealt thoughtfully and a Wet Hot American Summer is best enjoyed leisurely. Such are among the results of a Netflix study measuring how quickly people consume entire seasons of a show, and which types of programs are binged fastest.

Analyzing customers’ bingeing of an 100 serialized TV series across more than 190 countries, Netflix found that the median days to complete the first season of a series was five, while the median hours-per-session for completers was 2 hours, 10 minutes. For the purposes of Netflix’s Binge Scale (detailed and displayed below), series viewed less than two hours per day were identified as “Savored,” while those viewed more than two hours per day are said to be “Devoured.”

Check out where your recently binged series land on the scale below, tell us if the level or Savor vs. Devour matches up with Netflix’s findings.

Irreverent Comedies:
Arrested Development, BoJack Horseman, Club de Cuervos, F is for Family, Love,
Summer Heights High, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Wet Hot American Summer
Political Dramas
Homeland, House of Cards, Occupied, The Good Wife, The West Wing
Historical Dramas
Mad Men, Narcos, Peaky Blinders, The Americans
Superhero Drama
Gotham, Marvel’s Daredevil, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, The Flash
Crime Dramas
Better Call Saul, Bloodline, Fargo, The Blacklist, The Bridge, Twin Peaks
Dramatic Comedies
Flaked, Grace & Frankie, Nurse Jackie, Orange is the New Black,
Parenthood, Rescue Me, Weeds
Action & Adventure
24, Arrow, La Reina del Sur, Marco Polo, Outlander,
Prison Break, The Last Kingdom, Turn, Vikings
Ascension, Between, Heroes, Orphan Black, Sense8,
The 100, The 4400, Under the Dome
American Horror Story, Hemlock Grove, Penny Dreadful,
Scream, The Walking Dead, Z Nation
Bates Motel, Breaking Bad, Dexter, Sons of Anarchy,
The Fall, The Following, The Killing


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Dennis says:

    Matt, any word on if Bloodline will return for a third season?

  2. I find it interesting that The Flash and Arrow are in two separate categories – though it makes sense, given the tone of each show and how Arrow only gradually added “super” elements while The Flash embraced them right away.

  3. Joey says:

    Do they somehow track how people watch DVDs or does this include streaming globally since shows like Orphan Black and Penny Dreadful aren’t available for US users to stream.

  4. Steven says:

    On Netflix I’ve binged The X Files, Alias, and am starting the final season of Fringe.

  5. Interestingly, I’ll watch Kimmy Schimdt or Fuller House in one sitting — and I remember watching Modern Family (Netflix Brazil) in like two days. Doctor Who, The Librarians, Dark Matter, The 4400, Orphan Black (though I started watching when only two seasons were out) — all my lovely Sci-Fi and Fantasy, all a season-per-day-or-two. But I draaag on Thrillers. I’m not pulled by suspense, but I’m put off by their density and need to spread it all. Took me days to finish the Fall, and I only did so because my mom kept pushing. I gave up on both The Following and The Killing… So, yeah.

  6. I’ve binged watched several of these. Not sure that says anything good about me : /

    -The West Wing (obvi)
    -Nurse Jackie
    -Bates Motel
    -Grace and Frankie

    *The Good Wife isn’t available to stream on Netflix, but it is on Hulu.

  7. Cas says:

    I’m most upset by the shows that aren’t available in the US. Lame!

  8. HAP says:

    I have never binged, I watch Netflix episodes one at a time, fitting them into time slots where there is nothing on regular TV I want to watch.

  9. JMark (formerly JM) says:

    I see ‘The Bridge’ mentioned under Crime Dramas. Too bad it’s cancelled. :(

  10. ScottJ says:

    Whether I binge or not is affected by two main things – the length of the episodes and what the weather is like. There’s a third lesser factor, and that’s the audio on the show. There’s been a recent increase in mumbling from actors and when I can’t understand what is being said it slows me down a lot. Its not my hearing – I’ve just finished 26 half hour episodes of a 2004 Australian fantasy show and had zero problems.

    • MMD says:

      I’ve discovered the same thing on a couple of shows so I just keep my closed captioning on all the time with Netflix, unless it is really getting in the way.

      I was rewatching Hell on Wheels in anticipation of the final 7 episodes and I really noticed how good and fitting the lyrics to a lot of songs were which I hadn’t noticed the first time around.

  11. Will says:

    Is that list accurate? Doubt Penny Dreadful is on NF.. debating about getting into it…

  12. DeeDoubleYou says:

    Where in the US can you stream Unforgotten?