Is the Fabled Netflix Bounce Fading?

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(Welcome to my weekly streaming ratings report, the single best guide to what is popular in streaming TV and what isn’t. I’m the Entertainment Strategy Guy, a former streaming executive who now analyzes business strategy in the entertainment industry. If you were forwarded this email, please subscribe to get these insights each week.)

I’m a bit disappointed by the internet. It’s been a month since this show came out…

…and I haven’t heard anyone talking about it. No memes. No GIFs. But read this summary: “A woman steps into an odd machine and becomes – a chicken nugget?” How do we live in a world where there’s not weekly GIFs in Sean McNulty’s The Wakeup newsletter from this show? How did this TV show not go viral?

How did the internet drop the ball on this one?

Maybe it’s because we had a big, busy week on streaming that week. There were a ton of big new shows coming out or coming back, including Girls5eva heading from Peacock to Netflix, Invincible coming back to Prime Video, a new Max original with strong political themes, and more. Plus, Taylor Swift making her streaming debut!

But before we get to all of that, I wanted to share some recent (and not-so-recent) shout outs:

If you’re a writer, journalist, analyst or pundit and you cite me or my work, feel free to shoot me a line to make sure I see it. (Especially because it’s so much harder to find in paywalled articles using Google news.) 

(Reminder: The streaming ratings report focuses on the U.S. market and compiles data from Nielsen’s weekly top ten viewership ranks, Showlabs, TV Time trend data, Samba TV household viewership, company datecdotes, and Netflix hours viewed data, Google Trends, and IMDb to determine the most popular content. While most data points are current, Nielsen’s data covers the weeks of March 11th to March 17th.)

Television – Netflix Can’t Make Some Recent Trasnports Successes

At least three notable scripted shows came out this week and failed to make any of the ratings charts we track, including…

  • Girls5eva on Peacock
  • The Girls on the Bus on Max
  • Manhunt on Apple TV+

We start with the “Miss of the Week”: Girls5eva. It wins/loses more due to the media narrative than anything else. You see, when it was announced that Girls5eva was heading to Netflix from Peacock, multiple think pieces and profiles ensued; it was yet another sign that Netflix had already won the streaming awards, because Netflix can make anything a hit. And surely their magic would work here as well.

Yet when Girls5eva came out last month, it didn’t make any of the ratings charts I track.

It didn’t even make TV Time, which tracks consumer interest and online buzz. And the show is still sitting at a paltry 6.3K reviews on IMDb. (Compared to 79K for The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.)

I’d tie the narrative to the recent theme of my writing: “Heads tech wins, tails Hollywood loses.” Once again, the hype favors Netflix, but few people comment on or note tech companies’ flops. (To be fair, Variety VIP did cover the Girls5Eva miss.) Even last week, I read a story about a recently-cancelled TV show heading to Netflix, framing it like all of these shows become hits.

But Girls5eva shows that that’s not always the case; the fabled “Netflix bounce” isn’t nearly as reliable as everyone thinks. Not just Girls5eva, but just last month The Tourist made the charts, but just barely. Or Warrior, which put up decent numbers, but for three seasons of a TV show wasn’t that impressive.

Here’s a comparison to Griselda, one of Netflix’s bigger hits. (I left off Suits and Young Sheldon because they’re in a different league entirely.)

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The Entertainment Strategy Guy

The Entertainment Strategy Guy

Former strategy and business development guy at a major streaming company. But I like writing more than sending email, so I launched this website to share what I know.


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